Metro Prepares For Over a Million Visitors who Come for Cherry Blossom Season; Shares Travel Tips

Courtesy WMATA


Tis the season for pink petals and a blanket of blooms as the nation’s capital prepares for the cherry blossoms to flower and the large influx of visitors who come to see them. This past week, we provided a list for where you can enjoy them right here in Montgomery County, but millions will travel into DC to
enjoy the views.

Metro will join in the festivities, with the return of the cherry blossom decorated train and buses, commemorative SmarTrip® card, and five consecutive weeks with no daytime or evening track work to slow things down.

Per WMATA: Beginning on Monday, March 18 and continuing through Friday, April 19, Metro will not perform any track work until after 10 p.m. to maintain frequent, reliable service for our everyday riders and visitors headed to see the cherry blossoms and other events around the Tidal Basin. In case of an earlier or later peak bloom, dates free of track work may shift. The National Cherry Blossom Festival attracts more than 1.5 million people each year.

To accommodate the crowds, Metro will have additional trains strategically placed throughout the system to assist with crowding, and additional buses on hand along key routes to provide additional service if needed. We’ll also have extra staff at key stations to help customers.

If you time it right, you might catch a ride on our cherry blossom train and buses. We’re wrapping a six-car train, and three buses to spread the cherry blossom cheer across the region. They’re expected to make their debut in mid-March. The design features giant flowering cherry blossoms over a blue-sky background, with “Bring on the blossoms” printed on the side with #YourMetro. Find out where the cherry blossom train and buses are on our tracker at wmata.com/live and click on the Special Edition tab.

Rendering 2024 Cherry Blossom wrapped buses train“Cherry blossom season kicks off one of the busiest times of year for Metro,” said Metro Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Brian Dwyer. “We are proud to be a part of the festivities and welcome all visitors to the nation’s capital to use Metro for their travels. We’ll take you to the cherry blossoms, get you to the airports or Amtrak, and connect you to the sights across the region.” 

Metro provides convenient transportation to and from the area’s airports with stops at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on the Blue and Yellow lines, and Washington Dulles International Airport on the Silver Line. Metro is also accessible to Amtrak via Union Station and Rockville on the Red Line, New Carrollton on the Orange Line, and King St-Old Town on the Blue and Yellow lines.

Customers are encouraged to skip the fare vending machines and add Metro’s SmarTrip card to your mobile wallet. You can pay for your train, bus, or parking wherever SmarTrip is accepted. Just use your phone to pay with Apple Wallet or Google Wallet and instantly add value or purchase passes.

Those who want a keepsake may purchase one of our Cherry Blossom Festival commemorative SmarTrip cards. These limited-edition cards will only be available at selected stations – Metro Center, Navy Yard, L’Enfant Plaza, and Smithsonian. Look for specially marked fare vending machines around March 15, before the start of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Look for Metro at festival events, including Petalpalooza and the festival parade with one of our cherry blossom themed buses.

TRAVEL TIPS

  • On weekdays, consider traveling during non-rush hour times (10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and after 7 p.m.) and on weekends during the early morning or early evening to avoid crowding. Sundays are also a good option when ridership is lower.
  • If you don’t plan to purchase a commemorative card, skip the fare vending machines, and use Metro’s mobile pay options for Apple iOS or Android to purchase a SmarTrip card or transfer an existing card to a phone or mobile device. Use your phone to pay and instantly add funds.
  • Smithsonian Station is the closest station to the Tidal Basin and can become extremely busy. To avoid crowding, consider using L’Enfant Plaza or Federal Triangle instead.
  • Avoid transfers. Except for the Red Line, the Tidal Basin is accessible on all lines without transfers.
  • Blue Line Orange Line Silver Line Smithsonian, Federal Triangle, L’Enfant Plaza
  • Green Line Yellow Line L’Enfant Plaza
  • Each passenger 5 years of age or older needs his or her own SmarTrip card. Be sure to load enough value on the card to pay for all trips you plan to take.
  • Consider purchasing our 1-day, 3-day, or 7-day passesfor unlimited travel on rail or bus.
  • On weekends and after 9:30 p.m., Metrorail fare is just $2 for any one-way trip, and Metrobus is free when transferring to/from rail with the transfer discount.
  • Parking is free at all Metro owned parking garages and lots on weekends, providing an affordable way to park and ride downtown.

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Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

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Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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