The walk will start at the Washington Monument and work its way around the Tidal Basin.
Diana Mayhew, president of the Cherry Blossom Festival, says at its heart the festival is about the relationship between Japan and the United States. What began as a gift 99 years ago has become D.C.'s most popular and important tourist attraction.
Thursday night, Mayhew says, will be a chance for people to take time out before the festival officially begins and reflect on what's going on in Japan.
"Cherry blossoms symbolize rebirth, renewal, and now rebuilding so we want to keep that in mind going through this festival and taking time as a reflection as well," Mayhew says.
The walk starts at 6:30 p.m. Money raised will go to the American Red Cross.