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Check out D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival from home

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With Washington, D.C.’s annual National Cherry Blossom Festival canceled this year amid escalating COVID-19 “shelter in place” orders around the country, it would be a shame to miss out on the glorious sight of the National Mall bursting into pastel pink efflorescence just because it’s your civic duty to remain at home.

This is why the nonprofit National Cherry Blossom Festival organization is instead promoting its new virtual festival experience, accessible from the festival’s website (nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/). Its BloomCam provides live, rotating views over the National Mall Tidal Basin so everyone has the opportunity to witness the treasured trees in full flush during this peak season.

The virtual festival also includes vibrant, colorful videos showcasing those performers who were originally scheduled as part of the 2020 celebrations, including the opening ceremony that’s co-presented with the Japan Foundation annually. Musical performances highlight Japanese culture, presented as part of the festival’s longstanding friendship with Japan, which originally gifted the Yoshino cherry trees to the U.S. capital.

The annual festival auction is also being held online this year, running now through April 12 and regularly updated with new bidding opportunities. Participants can bid on such items as signed memorabilia, apparel, jewelry and gifts cards; as well as experiences, including travel, spa services and sporting events. All proceeds go toward supporting the festival and its mission to promote arts and culture, natural beauty and community spirit.

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