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Washington is abloom with cherry blossoms
"Puffy White". That's how the National Cherry Blossom Festival describes the current and final stage of blooms for the iconic Japanese blossoms which attract scores of visitors to Washington year. The pink and white blossoms decorating the rows of Yoshino cherry trees were still several days away from their peak bloom on Friday (March 29), the National Park Service said on its website, but that did not stop visitors from strolling around the Tidal Basin ahead of what is expected to be larger crowds over the weekend. "It's amazing and they're beautiful but they're not quite out all the way yet," said Annandale, Virginia, resident Adele Lynn, "so I have to come back and get to see the second stage of the fourth stage or whatever." The National Park Service defines the peak bloom date as the day on which 70% of the blossoms are open. It identifies five bloom stages on its website, from Stage 1 which shows a "green color in the buds" through Stage 5 or "puffy white" blooms. Many visitors may be tourists who see the Washington blossoms for the first time while others are area residents who try to come each year.