Cherry Blossom Trees Hold Different Stories | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Cherry Blossom Trees Hold Different Stories

Play associated audio
With great blossoms comes great port-a-potties...
Stephanie Kaye
With great blossoms comes great port-a-potties...

It's cherry blossom season once again. And in their 98th year in D.C., these trees have come to mean very different things to different people.

Although long-time Washingtonians may tire of the yearly cherry blossom countdown, local business owners hang on every "pop" of a new bud. Dr. Margaret Daniels, an economist with George Mason University, says those petals mean money. The festival brings in $126 million for the region, which Daniels says is a conservative estimate. "What's happening oftentimes is people can't get a hotel in DC. They're getting a hotel in Maryland or Northern Virginia and coming in for the day. Any major event like this is going to radiate out."

Even for a blossom bean-counter like Dr. Daniels, the trees hold personal significance. "When we were collecting data, I was seven months pregnant! So when I reflect back on the Cherry Blossom Festival, I think about the arrival of my son!"

For William Howard Taft IV, great-grandson of President William Howard Taft, the trees are a living legacy. "We worry about them, of course! We want them to go on. They're a major part of Washington's appeal at this time of year. It was my great-grandmother who was really responsible for it. Of all the things she did, I think it was the most important."

The National Cherry Blossom Festival officially begins on Saturday and runs for three weeks. Events include "Cherry Talks," nighttime lantern tours, parades and natural history lectures.

WAMU 88.5

Capital Fringe Fest's 'Bethesda' Hits Close To Home

The annual Capital Fringe Festival, which aims to bring new energy and artists to the D.C. area performing arts community, is back. This year's program includes one play that hits close to home.
NPR

Economists Say Inflation Is Tame; Consumers Aren't Buying It

On paper, inflation has been low this year. But consumers buying food or fuel may disagree. Prices for beef, eggs, fresh fruit and many other foods are much higher than overall inflation.
NPR

Administration Officials Defend Funding Request To Stem Border Crisis

President Obama has asked for $3.7 billion to deal with the southern border crisis. There are predictions the number of unaccompanied children entering the U.S. could reach 90,000 by October.
NPR

NSA Implementing Fix To Prevent Snowden-Like Security Breach

A year after Edward Snowden's digital heist, the NSA's chief technology officer says steps have been taken to stop future incidents. But he says there's no way for the NSA to be entirely secure.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.