By Jill Davis
I took a visit to the National Cherry Blossom Festival at the Smithsonian American Art Museum Cherry Blossom Celebration last Saturday for the real kick off to the cherry blossom season. I enjoyed art, food, and music while admiring the Japanese orchids in the garden since very few cherry blossoms have yet to bloom. The peak season is in just a few days, from April 3rd to April 6th, but festivities will be continuing every weekend until the 13th of April. There are many great ways to get to see the stunning cherry blossom trees surrounding the Tidal Basin, which is the key place for cherry blossom viewing. The DC Circulator’s National Mall route makes stops directly on the Tidal Basin at the Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials, as well as other popular sites near the cherry blossoms. Use the Blue, Orange or Silver lines and exit at the Smithsonian Metro stop. A lil’ fun fact about why there are so many cherry blossoms in D.C.: according to the official Washington D.C. Guide the first donation of 2,000 trees, received in 1910, was burned on orders from President William Howard Taft. Insects and disease had infested the trees, but after hearing about the plight of the first batch, Japan sent another 3,020 trees to DC two years later. The rest were planted by Sylvia Burwell herself (no factual evidence can be provided to support that statement).