cherry blossom festivals with Cherry blossom tree

From New York to California, cities and towns across America wait in anticipation for the annual blooming of cherry blossom trees. But did you know that the cherry blossom is more than just a beautiful tree? It’s also a celebrated symbol of the friendship between the United States and Japan.

In 1912, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo City gifted Washington, D.C., with hundreds of traditional cherry trees as a symbol of the growing friendship between the two nations. Now, every year, cities around the country honor traditional Japanese culture with festivals, parades, and week-long celebrations.

If you’re looking to experience the festivities for yourself, here are the top cherry blossom festivals in the country.

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

Where: Post Street between Laguna and Fillmore Street
When: April 13–14 and April 20–21
As the biggest celebration of Asian culture and tradition on the West Coast, the festival receives around 200,000 people each year. The festivities include a Grand Parade, performances of all kinds, art displays, food offerings, and a bevy of cultural programs.

Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia

Where: The main celebration is held April 13 and 14 at the Horticulture Center and Centennial Arboretum in West Fairmount Park, but additional events are held throughout the city and suburbs at other times during the month.
When: Throughout April (centerpiece event is April 13 and 14)
This annual event celebrates not only the spring and the beautiful flowers it brings but also Japanese culture. From demonstrations of martial arts and ikebana flower arranging to library story hours and live musical and dance performances, Japanese culture and art are on full display here.

cherry blossom festivals with Macon, Georgia cherry blossoms

International Cherry Blossom Festival

Where: Macon, Georgia
When: March 15–24
With more than 300,000 trees in bloom every year, Macon, Georgia, is the cherry blossom capital of the world. Visitors can watch as women make traditional Japanese flower arrangements, and take a tour through the “forest” of cherry trees that line the streets and parks.

Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival

Where: Public Square Park at Metro Courthouse
When: April 13
In 2009, Nashville set out to plant 1,000 cherry blossom trees over the next 10 years, and the city has since accomplished its goal. At the festival, you can take a tour of Music City as you walk the 2.5-mile trail of cherry blossoms.

Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival

Where: Branch Brook Park
When: April 3–14
In honor of the initial gift of 2,000 trees to Branch Brook Park in 1927, every year Essex Country transforms into New Jersey’s very own cherry blossom central. Athletic types have several different ways to enjoy the day, including a bike race, 10K, and mile run. If you don’t feel like working up a sweat, check out Family Day or Bloomfest.

cherry blossom festivals with Cherry Blossom Branch

Weekends in Bloom

Where: Brooklyn Botanical Garden
When: Weekends from April 20 to May 12
A new offering starting in 2023, this celebration of spring blooms features live music, family activities, cultural performances, and tours of the grounds. One of the events, called Hanami Nights, features the cherry blossoms illuminated as well as Japanese beer, cocktails, and snacks.

City of Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival

Where: Georgia International Horse Park
When: March 23–24
The Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival features multiple stages filled with endless entertainment, including traditional music, crafts, games, and dance. Started in 1982, the festival has grown tremendously over the years, and it now welcomes thousands of guests every year to get a taste of Japanese — and Southern — culture.

Cherry Blossom Festival

Where: Honolulu, Hawaii
When: Jan. 13–March 29
The Cherry Blossom Festival in Honolulu kicks off a bit earlier than the ones in the continental U.S. do, and it goes on for a lot longer too — a full 2 1/2 months! The centerpiece of the event is the Queen Contestant experience, which begins with the introduction of the 15 contestants at the opening ceremony, continues with the women making public appearances and attending community service events around the island, and culminates in the naming of the Queen and Court at the Cherry Blossom Festival Ball.

Cherry Blossom Festival Fort Wayne

Where: Walb Student Union, Purdue Fort Wayne University
When: May 19
Japanese folk dancing, taiko drums, and authentic anime drawings are just a few of the many cultural events you can find along the streets of Fort Wayne. Participants can also enter contests; there is one for cosplay, in which entrants are judged on costume, presentation, and style, and another for haiku writing!

cherry blossom festivals with cherry blossom tree in Washington, D.C.

National Cherry Blossom Festival

Where: Washington, D.C.
When: March 20–April 14
You know we couldn’t leave Washington, D.C., off the list! Between the opening ceremony, Pink Tie Party, Blossom Kite Festival, National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, and fireworks show, there is almost always something going on at the largest and most popular cherry blossom festival in the United States!


Tara Carlson graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in Public Relations and loves any and all things creative writing - which is why she is thrilled to be working with Petal Talk. When she's not writing, you can probably find her swimming at the beach, playing soccer, and catching up on the latest movies (she's a big fan of award season)!

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