In the pink: D.C. airports prepare for Cherry Blossom Festival crowds

Today in the Sky

Harriet Baskas, Special for USA TODAY 11:01 a.m. EDT March 25, 2016

It’s cherry blossom season in Washington, D.C., and, after two revisions, the U.S. National Park Service now predicts that the peak bloom dates for the Yoshino cherry trees in the nation’s capital will be March 22-24.

Official events for the month-long National Cherry Blossom Festival (the 104th) have already begun and, as the first and last stop for many festival attendees, both Reagan National and Dulles International airports are doing their part with pink lighting and cherry blossom-themed activities and promotions.

Throughout the festival, the Main Terminal at Washington Dulles International Airport will be bathed in pink light each evening. There will also be pink lighting shining through the glass walls in the parking decks at Reagan National Airport, which will also be offering a special parking promotion so that festivalgoers can take the Metro into town.

“We want to help passengers enjoy their journey and embrace the cherry blossoms,” said Jack Potter, Airports Authority President and CEO, said in a statement. “Travelers will notice cherry blossom colors, themes and promotions as they walk through the airports or see the trees in bloom on the airport grounds.”

In the airport terminals, both Reagan National and Dulles International will have free, interactive Cherry Blossom Festival photo booths set up and there will be stilt walkers dressed like cherry blossom trees roaming about on March 25, April 1, April 8 and April 15.

Both airports will also have special cherry blossom-themed food and retail promotions, including pink doughnuts, cookies and cocktails and a commemorative coaster set available as a free gift-with-purchase.

Harriet Baskas is a Seattle-based airports and aviation writer and USA TODAY Travel's "At the Airport" columnist. She occasionally contributes to Ben Mutzabaugh's Today in the Sky blog. Follow her at

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