National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony

Event Date: 
Saturday, March 27, 2010 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
FREE! Opening day marks the beginning of the two-week long celebration of the cherry blossoms and the commencement of spring in Washington, DC. Free Family Day festivities will be presented jointly by the Festival and the National Building Museum in anticipation of thousands of families from around the region and nation that will attend. The National Building Museum offers three engaging Japanese-inspired activities. At Animals Around Town, explore the significance of animals in Japanese and D.C. architecture and make reliefs for homes by picking out animal “protectors” to carve into self-hardening clay. BRIDGing Communities has attendees construct a Japanese-style garden bridge using basic craft materials while celebrating the relationship between the U.S. and Japan. Learn about traditional Japanese theater in the Kyogen Theater Stage Design area, where kids design their own stage sets and place sample characters inside, re-enacting a favorite story. Try on traditional Japanese clothing and make spring picture frames with the National Children’s Museum. Create an eco-vase by decoupaging recyclable plastic bottles with newspaper with The Washington Examiner. Plant seedlings in and decorate biodegradable Cowpots. With American Forests, adorn a cherry blossom tree with pink, white and red tissue paper and help their tree “blossom” throughout the day. Blossom the Treeture also makes a special appearance. With The Textile Museum, Family Day artists-in-training make hanging koi (goldfish) from paper and fabric to suspend from ceilings at home. In the Westwood College area, adults can vote for their favorite graphic design entry in the Festival’s first-ever BLOSSOM! Design Challenge while kids have their caricature drawn or face painted, always a Family Day favorite. Inside on the main stage, amongst the bustling activity, hear the sounds of impressive groups like Nen Daiko, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington’s Teen Arts Performers, Washington Toho Koto Society, Levine School Suzuki Strings, Culture Shock and Future Shock dance teams, Shizumi Kodomo Dance Troupe, Bach to Rock Music School and The Washington Ballet School of Ballet. At the Outdoor Performance Pavilion, enjoy a special appearance by DESPICABLE ME “minions,” and the beat-thumping sounds of E.W. Stokes Steel Drum, East of the River Steel Drum, and the Washington Showstopper Community bands. For a list of all the events during the festival, see: