Cherry blossom festival welcomes new features

The Cherry Blossom Festival mascot, Paddles, makes an appearance. (Photo: Brianne Carter)

This year’s 100 year celebration of the cherry blossoms is also welcoming in new features for the festivities.

Officials with the National Park Service and the National Cherry Blossom Festival on Thursday said that new features for visitors will be made public this year. Among the 100 of the original cherry trees that are still standing, there will be a new variety of trees along Ohio Drive.

These trees will be called the First Lady.

Over the next five weeks, there will also be an increased number of activities for families and kids, including an international friendship mural.

Officials announced Thursday morning that there soon will be a new landscape around the Japanese lantern around the Tidal Basin. Details are expected to be released at a later date but officials say it will resemble a Japanese garden.

Something else to look forward to: the fireworks show. An added bonus, is this year, 100 percent of the fireworks are from Japan.