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Cherry Blossom Festival opens with family weekend

Saturday - 3/23/2013, 8:50am  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Cherry Blossom Festival is opening with a weekend of family activities at the National Building Museum.

The free family days event opens Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum will offer crafts and activities focused on architecture, the cherry trees and Japanese arts.

An opening ceremony for the National Cherry Blossom Festival is planned for Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Warner Theatre. The festival runs for five weeks through April 27.

The National Park Services says it expects the trees will be in full bloom between April 3 and April 6. Officials say the cold weather slowed the blossoms' growth.

The cherry blossoms draw about 1 million visitors each spring. This year marks the 101st anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan.


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