Go fly a kite and smell the blossoms

This Saturday promises tons of family fun in DC. Two events kick off annual rites of spring:

42nd Annual Smithsonian Kite Festival

Good to know: rain date is March 30. This free public event sponsored by The Smithsonian Associates and the National Air and Space Museum takes place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the grounds of the Washington Monument at 15th and Independence Street.

 This year’s festival, titled “Brushstrokes in the Sky,” celebrates the art and history of Chinese kites and includes demonstrations by Chinese kite masters, exhibitions of authentic Chinese kites, kite making booths, kit flying competitions and more.

While you can bring your own kites, more than 800 free kites will be distributed to children on a first come, first serve basis. Kids under 15 can also enter their own handmade kites; categories are as follows for two age groups (11 and under, and 12-15):

1st, 2nd, 3rd place
Most Artistic
Most Humorous
Most Patriotic
10 special “Wow” awards

For a schedule of events and more information, go to http://www.kitefestival.org 

National Cherry Blossom Festival

This annual two-week event opens Saturday with a Family Opening Day from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the National Building Museum at 401 F Street, NW.

Among the activities: Origami Folding and Hand-fan Decorating; Building of a Large-Scale Origami Giraffe; Creating Miniature Cherry Blossom Trees; Westwood College’s Animation Bootcamp; Try on Traditional Japanese Clothing; Blossom Block Printing; make Blossom Bookmarks; and more.

Besides the activities, there will be performances indoors and out, followed by an opening ceremony from 4-5:30 p.m., also open to the public and free of charge.

For information visit http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org./cms/index.php?id=896

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