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DC's cherry blossoms expected to hit peak bloom this weekend in time for festival parade

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WASHINGTON — Washington's famous cherry blossoms are set to hit peak bloom this weekend as the National Cherry Blossom Festival draws big crowds for its annual parade and Japanese street festival.

The National Park Service says the trees are predicted to be in peak bloom Saturday through Tuesday. They bloomed about the same time the past two years. With most trees in bloom this weekend, organizers expect big crowds around the Tidal Basin and National Mall.

Festival President Diana Mayhew says early mornings are a good time to beat the crowds.

This year's blossoms coincide with the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade Saturday at 10 a.m. The parade is followed by the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival on Saturday afternoon.

The cherry blossom festival closes Sunday with a new Anacostia River Festival.

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