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Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 03/23/2011

Cherry blossom peak bloom dates amended

Washington’s famed cherry blossoms are days away from blooming. (Linda Davidson - The Washington Post)
D.C.’s beloved cherry blossoms will be in peak bloom for a shorter period than predicted this year, the National Park Service announced this morning. With the buds in “puffy white” stage, the peak bloom dates are now March 29 to April 1, with an overall blooming period from March 26 to April 7 — nicely aligned with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which kicks off this Saturday.

It’s not uncommon for the Park Service to tweak bloom dates, especially given the early prediction three weeks ago and fickle weather we’ve been experiencing.

While the festival doesn’t officially start until this weekend, organizers will hold a special fundraising event, called “Stand with Japan,” this Thursday in support of victims and survivors of the recent earthquake and tsunami. Supporters will meet at the Washington Monument on Thursday evening and walk around the Tidal Basin; donations will benefit the American Red Cross.

For more information about the blooms and the festival, check out The Post’s full coverage page. There you can download a map and podcast; find a traveler’s guide with event, traffic and transit information (the National Marathon this Saturday will throw an additional twist in the always-fun D.C. traffic); and share your blossom photos.

By  |  11:15 AM ET, 03/23/2011

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