WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Washington is getting ready to celebrate 100 years with its famous cherry blossom trees, and peak bloom season is just around the corner.

The National Park Service is expected on Thursday to announce the peak dates when the trees will be full of pink and white flowers.

Organizers are also announcing plans for an accompanying an expanded 5-week festival to celebrate the trees, which were a gift from Japan in 1912. The festival runs from March 20 to April 27 and will include a number of exciting events, from parades and fireworks to art exhibitions and cultural performances.

The annual cherry blossom festival, which generally runs for 16 days, attracts about 1 million visitors to the nation’s capital. The average peak bloom date is April 4.

>>View current state of Cherry Blossoms<<

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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