**FILE** Courtesy of the National Cherry Blossom Festival
**FILE** Courtesy of the National Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival kicked off Sunday, which marked the first day of spring and the vernal equinox, at the historic Pilgrim Baptist Church with the Pilgrim Baptist Church Girl Scouts Troop 6563.

This year marks 110 years since Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki gifted 3,000 cherry trees to the District, as well as the 110th anniversary of both the Girl Scouts of the USA and the Pilgrim Baptist Church.

The Dunkin’ Community Cruiser served hot chocolate and coffee to the three groups.

“How fitting that this year all three of our respective organizations are celebrating 110 years of friendship, community service, and good stewardship,” said Diana Mayhew, National Cherry Blossom Festival president and CEO. “Our local community is what helps make the festival so special and we’re thrilled to be celebrating the turn of the season and the first day of the 2022 festival and we’re thrilled to be celebrating the turn of the season and the first day of the 2022 festival with our friends at the Pilgrim Baptist Church and Girl Scouts Troop 6563 in Ward 6.”

Louis B. Jones II, senior pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church, said teaming with the Festival on the first day of spring made this year’s Girl Scouts Sunday “extra special.”

“Springtime is an important time to usher in renewal and revitalize focus on making valuable contributions to lives, communities, and history — values that are shared by our church, our Girl Scouts and the festival,” Jones said. “We are united in our commitment to service and look forward to another 110 years of encouraging friendship and good stewardship throughout the communities we serve.”

The opening ceremony took place at the Warner Theatre in downtown Washington. The festival will run from March 20-April 17.

Anti-coronavirus measures such as masking and social distancing may be required for some events.

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James Wright Jr.

James Wright Jr. is the D.C. political reporter for the Washington Informer Newspaper. He has worked for the Washington AFRO-American Newspaper as a reporter, city editor and freelance writer and The Washington...

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