– Thousands of people have been gathering along Washington’s Tidal Basin to take in the sights of the city’s famed cherry blossom trees in peak bloom.
The peak of the cherry blossoms is defined as the point when 70 percent of the blossoms around the Tidal Basin are open, according to the National Park Service.
The beloved blossom trees were given by Japan in 1912 to the United States as a friendship gift.
The Annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which started this weekend and runs until April 17, commemorates the gift of the nearly 3,000 trees and celebrates the relationship between the two countries.
The festival includes a parade, fireworks, live music, a Washington Wizards basketball game, art installations, pet- and family-friendly activities, kite flying, food and liquor sampling, cultural events and river cruises.
(Writing by Mark Porter; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)