There has been much uncertainty about the arrival of Washington’s famed cherry blossoms. They were coming early, right? But then the cool temps could cause a delay? And what about those high winds?

By contrast, the forecast for the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival Pink Tie Party was certain: There would be loads of splashy fashions, with nearly everyone favoring hues inspired by the highly anticipated blooms, and a chance to raise money for the annual festival celebrating the relationship between the United States and Japan.

About 900 people packed into the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on Thursday for an evening of dancing (the action was stoked by the popular DeeJay Shelly, a.k.a. Michelle Lee) and grazing on food from local restaurants. There was a live painting demonstration and Japanese taiko drumming, but the real entertainment was the people-watching.

Fluffy tulle gowns, embroidered suit jackets, natty pocket squares — all in varying shades of pink — made it feel as if the revelers were strolling a competitive catwalk to see who could out-floral the others. The event, said partygoer Dan Morton, who sported a rosy metallic jacket, was like “the Hunger Games of fashion.”


The crowd at the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Pink Tie Party. 

Asim Jilani and Natalia Persiyanova. 

From left, Lacey Faeh, Melanie Hansen and Barnette Holston. 


Evan Ayers and Dan Morton. 

Loan Lai. 

Christine Gollayan and Mrs. DC America 2017 Julie Cangialosi. 

Jewelry designer Mindy Lam and her daughter Kai Sia. 

Chris Roche and Maggie O’Neill, the festival’s official artist this year.