You can expect lots of crowds to usher in this opening weekend of DC's Cherry Blossom festival and through April 12th.
Local resident Stephanie Zalamea says she might make it to see the mainly budding trees this weekend, but will definitely make it during the April 8th to 12th peak bloom. She says if you can get to the tidal basin area and block out the mayhem of the crowds, it's really peaceful.
The opening ceremony is at the Warner Theatre from 5 p.m. to 6:30 Friday night and this weekend it's Family Days. You can also take the Big Bus Tour of the 2014 festival and get a discount if you book online before you go. A Petal Pass will also get you deals at some stores, restaurants and other attractions. They're available to pick up at Capital One Bank branches.
While you're there, you can also eat at one of more than 90 local restaurants in the "Cherry Picks Program." They'll all be offering Spring inspired dishes. You can find out the entire schedule by downloading the festival App for your iPhone at www.cherryblossom festival.org.