DC hasn’t even seen snow yet, but we’re already talking about next year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival. (Yes, parade tickets are already on sale.) Expect some celebrity appearances: Mickey and Minnie Mouse will serve as grand marshals at the parade on April 15, organizers announced Tuesday. There will also be colorful balloons, pink floats, and marching bands from around the country.
In addition to announcing the guests from Orlando, organizers unveiled the festival’s official artwork. Created by artist Orlando Quevedo, the painting depicts DC’s signature blossoms along the Tidal Basin in the magical realism style. Quevedo graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, and then moved to Philadelphia, where he paints colorful murals with illusions around the city. “To be a part of something so American, it’s flattering,” says Quevedo.
The art will be on display at the Japanese Information and Culture Center at the Embassy of Japan until December 7. Posters, t-shirts, pins, and Christmas ornaments with the artwork are also available for purchase on the online store.
Look out for more cherry blossom events leading up to the official festival. To encourage tourism in Japan, All Nippon Airlines is offering two free round-trip tickets from the US to Tokyo during the floral jamboree. More details on how to enter to win will be announced mid-December. The 2023 festival will also include classic events like the Blossom Kite Festival, Petalpalooza, and Pink in the Park.