I grew up in Maryland, so I’ve seen the Cherry Blossom Festival pretty much every year I’ve been alive. It’s beautiful and breathtaking, but the true “charm” of the event isn’t as strong as a first-timer’s. So, I interviewed a friend who I took to the event to see exactly what it’s like to see this amazing experience for the very first time.
What was your first impression of the Cherry Blossoms?
I thought the Cherry Blossoms were just really pretty when I initially saw them while walking up to the Washington Monument. There were some scattered around and a larger bunch of them near the bottom of the grassy area that surrounds the monument. Honestly though, I didn’t necessarily understand what all the hype was about. That is until we walked along further towards the Tidal Basin. When all the trees were in full bloom surrounding the water, that was when I was truly impressed! Not only was it a beautiful sight with so much natural color in the middle of a large city, but the massive amounts of people who all gathered in the nation’s capital to witness that exact sight was just as astounding.
You went on a Saturday, which was easily the most crowded day. Did the hassle of migrating through crowds of people take away from the beauty of the cherry blossoms?
There were a lot of people, and the navigating was a little difficult, but the only time that it was really a hindrance was when I trying to take a picture. There were heads popping up in almost all angles of the viewfinder, but if you were just patient, it was still possible to get the image you wanted. I think the overall moral was just in awe of the Cherry Blossoms, so for me, it didn’t take away from the beauty.
You went to the beer and wine festival, what was your favorite beer?
There were so many beers and wines to try that it was hard to keep a lot of them straight, especially because each brewery/winery had two different types of drinks to try, too. And when I say there was a lot, I mean two parking lots of the National’s stadium a lot! I’m not sure if I could pick a favorite (there were quite a few that I would buy to drink on my own), but there was an organic one that stood out as most memorable to me. It was called Fresh Cut and when you smelled it, it had the exact scent of freshly cut grass. I know that sounds disgusting, but it did not taste as strong; the smell was too distinct to not remember.
Was there anything else at this festival besides beer, wine, and food?
Besides the endless tents of beer, wine and the food trucks that were surrounding the outer edges of the parking lots, there were a few stands incorporating music. One was a radio station that I assume was sponsoring the event. The other end of the lot had a small stage with a live band, and there were a few advertising booths with companies, like Lyft, that were handing out free things. One booth was giving away beanie hats, which turned out to be pretty popular considering it got chilly when the sun went down. There were also some art stands that were selling handmade signs and things pertaining to DC.
Would you recommend this festival to out-of-towners?
I would recommend it, but only if they can fit all of their other sightseeing in during other times during their trip. You didn’t get to see any of the city (apart from how you get to and from Nat’s park) but it does give you a sense of the type of community that DC has. It felt as though most everyone there was a local, but it was fun to be apart of a different city for a few hours and get to experience some of their hometown food and drink favorites without the hassle of having to choose exactly where you want to go to try it all. However, I’d tell out-of-towners to keep in mind that you’re just standing in a parking lot for 3 hours, so they better like eating and drinking like a local, because the views aren’t great!