By Tracey Leong

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Officials announced Thursday that D.C.’s famous cherry trees are expected to hit peak bloom March 17 through March 20.

There are more than 3,000 of the trees in the city, most of them near the Tidal Basin. The original plants were a a gift of friendship in 1912 from Japan to the United States.

“The staff at the National Mall and memorial parks takes great pride in caring for the stars of this festival and those are our cherry trees, we have 3,700 of them,” NPS acting superintendent Karen Cucurullo said.

“We are only 20 days away from spring and that’s almost synonymous with spring and in this festival we can celebrate our friendship with Japan,” Washinton D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said.

“People equate the spring with Washington D.C., not just here in Washington, not just the nation but across the globe so we are very excited with what this festival has become,” Event D.C. President Greg O’Dell said.

“Our hometown event, it is important for us to engage the residents to make sure we offer fabulous amenities for our city and everybody knows it belongs to Washington D.C.,” Cherry Blossom Festival President Diana Mayhew said.

Every year, more than a million people flock to the city to see the blooms and participate in the National Cherry Blossom Festival. This year, the festival goes from March 20 to April 15.

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