Jen Richer

Jen Richer

Jen Richer is the Midday Host and News Director for Washington’s WONK FM. She has been in the DC market for over a decade, most recently as the morning show co-host and executive producer on 94.7 Fresh FM, as well as a regular contributor on All News 99.1 WNEW, and the host of the CBS Radio community affairs program Fresh Perspectives. She has been a regular contributor for Washingtonian Magazine, as well as featured in The Washington Post Magazine, and Northern Virginia Magazine, and on the cover of Nova Dog Magazine for her work in the community. Jen started her radio career at the heritage news talk station WMAL in Washington DC as a digital reporter and new media manager, and in 2007 earned the Edward R Murrow Station of the Year award. She moved to the Washington D.C. area from San Diego in 2002, where she studied International Affairs, Art History, and International Media at The George Washington University’s Elliott School. When she’s not geeking out over NASA and STEM development, she is a full time rescue dog mom of two, Puppy Bruce and Mr. Grant and an advocate for animal rescue and adoptions. She is a military sister and a supporter of military families and first responders. Having lost her grandmother to Ovarian Cancer, she has become a champion for awareness of the disease and works closely with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, hosting their annual D.C. fundraisers. One of her greatest joys is traveling, and when she’s not visiting her family on the West Coast, she and her best friend Lindsey are cashing in airline miles as they fly their way to their goal of seeing all seven continents by 2023.


It's Officially Spring in DC, Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Announced

Peak Bloom Hits During National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC

WASHINGTON, DC -- Spring is here! The official season may have kicked off a few days ago, and Punxsutawney Phil may have declared it last Groundhog Day, but in DC it isn't official until we have the projected dates for peak cherry blossom bloom on the Tidal Basin.

This morning, Jeffery Reinbold, Superintendent for the National Park Service - National Mall and Memorial Parks, made the announcement at the National Cherry Blossom Festival press conference.

Peak bloom for this year is projected to be March 27th to the 30th, earlier than most years. Leaves are already appearing on the cherry trees, which means blossoms will start emerging soon.

"After analyzing a verity of data, including winter temperatures, and forecasts for March, our staff has come up with the projected peak dates, March 27 to 30th, during which the trees will first reach their peak bloom, so we define that as 70 percent of the Yoshino trees are in blossom," Reinbold said. "If the weather conditions are favorable, the trees can hold those blossoms for 10 days."

Those trees will draw crowds from all over the world to take in the spectacle.

Ranger Taking in Blooms

"The staff at the National Mall and Memorial Parks takes great pride in the work we do to care for the stars of this festival, the 3,700 cherry trees, which are both a natural and cultural treasure or our city and our nation, rooted in history and tradition….a handful of which, date back to 1912."

In 1912, the Japanese gifted 3,020 cherry trees were gifted from Japan to the United States as a goodwill gesture. Today, the two trees planted by First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, in a ceremony on the Tidal Basin in 1912 still stand.

Surrounding the celebration of the peak bloom, the National Cherry Blossom Festival hosts over 100 events for locals and visitors alike.

“We are proud to once again unite the city, the region, as we celebrate one of the world’s greatest celebrations of spring, here in Washington, DC," Diana Mayhew, President, National Cherry Blossom Festival said. "The National Cherry Blossom festival is much anticipated tradition and legacy that brings joy and a sense of renewal, energy and just amazing engaging fun experiences for the residents and the visitors."

Muriel Bowser, the Mayor for the District of Columbia, kicked off the celebration.

"This festival of course celebrates friendship between two nations, it celebrates beautiful trees, not just at the Tidal Basin, but throughout Washington DC, and every year we look forward to the start of spring, not just because we’re eager to get away from frigid days and nights, but because the Cherry Blossom Festival is such an honored tradition here," Bowser said.

She also addressed the concern facing many metropolitan areas in the face of the coronavirus threats.

"We are closely monitoring, I want everybody to know, the potential impacts of the coronavirus in D.C. D.C. at this stage has no confirmed cases. We are open for business and we expect to welcome thousands of people to our city over the next few weeks," Bowser said. "As a world class city, we have world class preparedness as well so we will continue to work on prevention, preparedness, and response if necessary."

Cherry Blossoms Bloom In Washington DC

The festival is going on as planned, with over 40 organizations teaming up to support hundreds of events around the city.

Jen and Flower Lady

National Cherry Blossom Festival 2020 signature events include: 

  • Friday, March 20: Pink Tie Party fundraiser presented by ANA at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (early-bird tickets available now)
  • Saturday, March 21: Opening Ceremony at the Warner Theatre
  • Saturday, March 28: Blossom Kite Festival presented by Otsuka on the Washington Monument grounds
  • Saturday, April 4: National Cherry Blossom Festival Paradeâpresented by Events DC (grandstand tickets on sale now)
  • Saturday, April 13: Petalpalooza at Capitol Riverfront presented by CHASE
  • Dates TBD: Tidal Basin Welcome Area and ANA Performance Stage

2020 Premier Events include:

  • Saturday, March 21: SAAM Cherry Blossom Celebration produced by Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Saturday, April 4: Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival, produced by the Japan-America Society of Washington DC
  • Sunday, April 5: Anacostia River Festival produced by the 11thStreet Bridge Park

For a complete list of events visit the National Cherry Blossom Festival Website.

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