LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC)- The District’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which celebrates the gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city in 1912, will be celebrated from March 20 to April 14.

In past years, more than 1.5 million people have visited D.C. to admire the blooms and participate in various events that are organized as part of the festival.

Though the official opening ceremony on March 23 kicks off four weekends of such events, including parades, a fireworks display and even a dance party, lists arts and entertainment opportunities celebrating Japanese culture that begin as early as February.

Among them are an exhibition beginning Feb. 16 at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery highlighting the artistic responses of Japanese painters, sculptors and photographers to the March 2011 tsunami and an ancient Japanese harp concert at the Freer Gallery of Art concert on Feb. 22.

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