**FILE** Thousands gather on the grounds of the Washington Monument in celebration of the Annual Cherry Blossom Kite Festival.
**FILE** Thousands gather on the grounds of the Washington Monument in celebration of the Annual Cherry Blossom Kite Festival. (Travis Riddick/The Washington Informer)

The 2018 National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, under sponsorship of Events DC, will feature an all-star lineup of reality stars, musicians and more at the annual springtime celebration on Saturday, April 14.

The nationally-syndicated parade which lists as one of D.C.’s largest spectator events, will also include celebrity performances such as those by Summer, the GW Pitches and Emma G, as well as gigantic helium balloons, costumed characters, elaborate floats and marching bands from across the country along iconic Constitution Avenue.

Other exciting parade participants confirmed to-date include:

• Honorary Grand Marshal: Chef Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s Emmy Award winning series “The Chew”
• ’90s hip-hop trailblazers Arrested Development (of hit single “People Everyday” fame)
• Pop/classical string quartet Well Strung (members on current season of “The Amazing Race”)
• Grammy-nominated country singer Ty Herndon
• “The Voice” season 11 contestant Billy Gilman and season eight contestant Sarah Potenza
• Gravity-defying extreme stunt pogo team XPOGO
• Miss America 2018 Cara Mund
• Giant colorful balloons including Smurfette, Peppa Pig, Magic School Bus, Sam I Am, Domo, and more

The festival will also shine a spotlight on local talent from the DMV through performances by the winners of the “Sing Into Spring” competition, recently chosen by a panel of industry judges at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater.

Out of 17 contestants who went head-to-head to showcase their vocal abilities, one group and two soloists (The GW Pitches, Emma G, and Summer) have secured a coveted spot to perform for thousands in the parade.

Prime grandstand seats for the parade are on sale now and can be purchased at nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.

The grandstand section offers reserved seating along Constitution Avenue between 15th and 17th Streets in Northwest.

Group tickets for 10 or more are also available. Standing along the parade route is free and open to the public.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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