By Valerie Clarke
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – Washington, D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival is a public celebration of friendship between Japan and the U.S. The celebration will take place all day April 14 and members of the Camden County College community will have the chance to attend.

When Japan and the United States became friends, Japan gave the United States cherry blossom trees as a symbol of that friendship. In 1912 Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gave Washington 3,000 cherry trees. Each year almost a million people come to Washington to visit and admire the beautiful trees and to celebrate the blooming of these flowers as a sign of the beginning of spring.

The festival will take place on 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW and the parade will take place from Constitution Avenue to 7th Street to 17th Street in rain or shine. The festival will have floats, performance, marching bands and giant balloons. The Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C. will present the event along with over 10 other organizations who sponsor it. Museums, food venues and plenty of places for shopping will operate on the day of the event.

Students will meet at one of the three Camden County College campuses to travel together by bus to this event. The bus will depart from Camden at 7 a.m., Cherry Hill at 7:20 a.m. and Blackwood at 7:40 a.m. Georgetown will be the final destination, where visitors will eat lunch and remain on their own until departure for the campuses at 6 p.m.

Tickets are on sale for $35 for students, staff and senior citizens. Tickets for anyone outside of school who would like to go are $45. The cost doesn’t include expenses for food or shopping. Children age 13 and younger are free and children age 13 and older will pay $5. If anyone would like to stand along the parade route, that is free and open to the public.

To buy tickets, call (856) 227-7200, ext. 4282 on the Blackwood campus, (856) 338-1817, ext. 1320 on the Camden campus or (856) 874-6000, ext. 6008 on the Cherry Hill campus.

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