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 / Updated 11 PHOTOS

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.

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

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Despite the mobs, there were a few quiet areas to soak up the natural beauty of the blooms.

Despite the mobs, there were a few quiet areas to soak up the natural beauty of the blooms.

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Along the viewing path, the light pink and white petal canopy offered the illusion of snow.

Along the viewing path, the light pink and white petal canopy offered the illusion of snow.

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Flowering cherry trees need constant care and maintenance to keep them in good health. The DC cherry blossoms are pruned once to remove damaged or diseased limbs and then once again for shaping purposes.

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.

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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.

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.

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The scene was ripe for photo-taking.  Awkward family photos were staged.

The scene was ripe for photo-taking. Awkward family photos were staged.

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And there were numerous scenes of young love.

And there were numerous scenes of young love.

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DC Native Luna enjoyed chasing the falling Cherry Blossom petals.

D.C. native Luna enjoyed chasing the falling cherry blossom petals.

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Thank you Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo, for the gift that keeps on giving!

Thank you Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo, for the gift that keeps on giving!

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And welcome Springtime!

And welcome springtime!

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