The cherry blossoms faded a couple of weeks ago, but the month-long Cherry Blossom Festival just ended with two big events last weekend – the parade and Sakura Matsuri – while the Emancipation Day celebrations happened at the same time just a few blocks away.
Cherry Blossom Parade
The traditional Cherry Blossom Parade took place on Saturday along a ten-block stretch of Constitution Avenue, with 74 groups marching – bands, floats, balloons, and much more.
Sakura Matsuri, a Japanese street festival, took place over two days on Pennsylvania Avenue, with lots of food, drumming, singing, dancing, and costumes.
Emancipation Day is a D.C. holiday which commemorates the DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 which ended slavery in the District. There are a number of events at different locations throughout the city which recognize and teach about the history, and a day of celebration. We unfortunately didn’t get to the parade this year, but were lucky to hear the concert on Freedom Plaza, followed by the amazing sight of fireworks set off in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue with the Capitol in the background.