Tourists are starting to converge on Washington for one of the capital's greatest Springtime celebrations: the blooming of the cherry trees.
The U.S. Park Service says the recent cold snap did not affect the bloom dates for the trees. The blossoms could last up to ten days, weather permitting.
"It is just a gorgeous day and they said it would be peak blossoms, and it is about halfway, I'd say. Its pretty, but I'd say by the weekend it is going to be even prettier," said Connie Santora, a visitor to the nation's capital who was gazing at the flowering trees.
This year's peak bloom period coincides with the opening of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
The cherry trees are a symbol of an enduring relationship with the people of Japan, who gifted the trees to the United States.