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11 Photos That Will Make You Want to Go to Next Year's Cherry Blossom Fest

Take a walk through the Cherry Blossom Festival in our nation’s capital.

. Each year, the Cherry Blossom Festival marks the unofficial arrival of spring in our nation’s capital. It also commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, D.C. Mary Kozelka / NBC News

. Crowds of every nationality and all walks of life descended on the Tidal Basin near Washington’s National Mall. Mary Kozelka / NBC News

. Despite the mobs, there were a few quiet areas to soak up the natural beauty of the blooms. Mary Kozelka / NBC News

. Along the viewing path, the light pink and white petal canopy offered the illusion of snow. Mary Kozelka / NBC News

. Flowering cherry trees need constant care and maintenance to keep them in good health. The D.C. cherry blossoms are pruned once to remove damaged or diseased limbs and then once again for shaping purposes. Mary Kozelka / NBC News

. This year, the blooming of the cherry blossoms coincided perfectly with the festival which is planned months in advance, before the blooms. The blossoms drew a record breaking number of visitors. Mary Kozelka / NBC News

. The scene was ripe for photo-taking. Awkward family photos were staged. Mary Kozelka / NBC News

. And there were numerous scenes of young love. Mary Kozelka / NBC News

. D.C. native Luna enjoyed chasing the falling cherry blossom petals. Mary Kozelka / NBC News

. Thank you Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo, for the gift that keeps on giving! Mary Kozelka / NBC News

. And welcome springtime! Mary Kozelka / NBC News