Photos: Washington, D.C., celebrates cherry blossoms

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by Alice Kleinpeter

Video Report by Karin Caifa, CNN

Posted on April 8, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 8 at 9:38 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The main attraction is finally in full bloom at The National Cherry Blossom Festival.

According to the National Park Service, the festival date is usually set based on the average peak bloom date of April 4, but cooler temperatures resulted in a delay of the day when 70 percent of blossoms from the Yoshino Cherry Trees are open.

The show must go on and many restaurants and bars around Washington have continued the celebration despite the delay.

"Cherries have a really cool flavor component to them," said Robert Yealu, Director of Restaurants at the Loews Madison Hotel. "Even just the different types of cherries that you can get."

Pink drinks are being celebrated all around the city. The Loews Madison Hotel offers "The Sakura," a drink that takes the traditional name for flowering cherries. Another is "Wild Blossom" with peach nectar and japanese spice.

Loews also faces some friendly competition.

"A lot of people are doing some really cool cocktails," said Yealu. "So it does definitely keep us competitive, and it keeps our edge sharp."

M Street Bar & Grill is offering its own cherry-inspired drinks like "Cherried Cucumbers", a drink made with gin, grenadine, muddled cherries, cucumbers and a little bubbly.

"Everyone likes the playfulness that there is with it," said M Street Bar & Grill Manager Russell Seuradge. "It's also fun to watch them being made too since there are fresh ingredients."

The National Cherry Blossom Festival runs through April 14, offering boat tours, a SCVNGR challenge by the International Spy Museum, and other exhibits and events to celebrate the season.

The annual festival commemorates the 3,000 cherry trees that were given to the city of Washington, D.C. as a gift from Mayor Yukio Ozaki in 1912.

CNN contributed to this report
 

 

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