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2021 National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade Nixed Due to COVID-19

October 22, 2020 by Dan McCue
Cherry blossoms on the Washington Tidal Basin. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – The National Cherry Blossom Festival may still be five months away, but organizers on Wednesday announced the festival parade, long a beloved part of the annual event, has been cancelled for 2021.

The reason: The ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“The health and safety of our festival staff and the attendees, sponsors, and other stakeholders remain the festival’s top priority,” said Diana Mayhew, president and CEO of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in a written statement.

“While we know the community will miss the tradition of the parade, a striking and celebratory procession down Constitution Avenue, plans to present the 2021 Festival in innovative and fun ways are already underway,” Mayhew said.

The festival itself is scheduled for March 20 to April 11, and organizers said it will proceed with a full schedule of “safe, entertaining and fun programming.”

Additional details and the unveiling of the festival’s official 2021 artwork is planned for next month.

Festival organizers said they will continue to work with the District of Columbia, the mayor’s office, the National Park Service and other partners and stakeholders to ensure the public’s safety as the planning of events continues.

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