The Gate: Smithsonian blossoms

The Gate

The number of visitors to the Smithsonian museums always spikes in the week-long spring break that usually happens the week before or the week of Easter, according to Smithsonian officials. Add Washington’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20-April 14) in that mix, and you have nothing but springtime throngs. Here’s a look at how this year’s numbers compare.

4 Straight years that the number of visitors to the National Museum of American History has increased. The museum has had over 400,000 more visitors since January this year than in the first three months of 2010.
13 Smithsonian events focused on the Cherry Blossom Festival including an anime marathon, a symposium on the Japanese influence on American craft, Japanese book-binding and a lecture by a Japanese printmaker from March 23 to April 14.
11,328 More people visited the National Zoo on Easter Monday this year than Easter Monday last year. Easter Monday at the National Zoo has been an African American tradition for more than 120 years.
48,223 More people in the past two years have visited the National Museum of Natural History in the week after Easter than visited the National Air and Space Museum (including the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly). The two museums constantly go back and forth as the Smithsonian’s most popular.
195,548 Number of increased total visitors to the Smithsonian museums in the week after Easter this year than the week after Easter last year. Big jumps in numbers are often weather-related, officials say.
6,037,425 People have visited the Smithsonian Institution since the start of the year, an increase of 706,397 over the same time period last year and a more-than 1.2 million visitor increase over 2010.

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