In 1912, the Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gave the city of Washington, DC, 3,000 cherry trees as a token of friendship between the two capital cities. The gift forever changed the landscape of Washington, DC, particularly around the Tidal Basin, where throngs of visitors congregate each spring to celebrate the blossoming of these spectacular trees.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival (NCBF) turns 100 years old this year. And as the trees have grown, so too has the festival that celebrates them. Each year, there are hundreds of cherry-blossom related events in Washington area, from special restaurant menus to museum exhibits to Potomac River cruises. To keep all of these straight, festival organizers have created the National Cherry Blossom Festival app, available for free from iTunes or the Android Market. The app provides up-to-date info on the blooming schedule and events, utilizes maps to show event locations, includes a news feed from the NCBF website and Twitter, provides details on participating "Cherry Picks" restaurants, and allows users to connect to Facebook and Twitter to post updates on their Cherry Blossom Festival fun. The app also has a built-in camera, no doubt a reminder for cherry blossom lovers to enter the NCBF's 2nd annual photography contest, which runs through April 15.
The new version of the National Cherry Blossom Festival app will be available for download on March 1, 2012. The National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place from March 20 to April 27, 2012.