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Springtime in Washington

Julie Woodford

For many—especially GW students—it’s good to be in Washington in the spring.

Every year in late March and early April, the beauty of the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and other landmarks is enhanced by the hundreds of blossoming cherry trees that line the Tidal Basin. GW community members join with D.C. residents and visitors from around the world to celebrate the annual Cherry Blossom Festival and commemorate the 1912 gift of the trees from Japan.

Students participate in many festival-related activities. Every year, American universities with Japanese language programs and organizations are invited to nominate candidates to be a festival Goodwill Ambassador, to serve as a cultural liaison during events such as the festival’s opening ceremony and neighborhood tree plantings. This year, senior Rita Sinha, who is majoring in mechanical engineering and Japanese language and literature, represented GW. In past years, GW students also have represented their home countries as Cherry Blossom princesses.

Also this year, the Office of Grad Life and GW TRAiLS organized a student paddle boating excursion on the Tidal Basin. And every year, the GW Roadrunners Club organizes a well-attended 12-week training program to prepare students for the annual 10-mile Cherry Blossom Race.