Spring, with its promise of warmth and seemingly sudden explosion of blossoms and scents, is a season I love.
Washington, DC’s 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival began in late March and will wind down this coming Sunday, and this April unfolds with a renewed desire to visit DC and The Willard Hotel during the Festival. The Willard is a place of beauty any day of the week, and I imagine returning from a day of sightseeing to lobby urns bursting with cherry blossoms, then settling in to enjoy the hotel’s Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea in Peacock Alley.
In the interim, it’s great to be a Vancouverite, where our latitude and climate are such that its 2014 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival has just begun.
Cherry and plum blossoms are on glorious display as we walk through our Vancouver neighbourhood, and the magnolias and camelias are joining the dance.
There are canopies of blossoms throughout metro Vancouver; Vancouver alone has 40,000 flowering cherry trees – a long way from the 500 trees gifted almost 80 years ago by the mayors of Kobe and Yokahama, in honour of Japanese Canadians who served in World War I.
Vancouver’s Cherry Blossom Festival comes complete with a Sakura Japan Fair, blossom painting classes, photography competition and the Haiku Invitational. If you’re inspired by the blossoms’ beauty and feeling poetic, you may be interested to know that the Haiku Invitational offers prizes in a number of categories, with awards for Vancouver, BC, Canadian, American, international and youth entries.