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PHOTOS: Cherry blossoms surround DC monuments in wash of pink during early bloom

For many Washington, D.C., residents, spring doesn't really start until the famed cherry blossoms reach their peak.

Tourists and enthusiasts flock to the Tidal Basin to capture the stunning views each year. Recent warmth led to an early peak this season.

According to the National Park Service, the blossoms typically reach peak bloom on April 4. Peak bloom is defined as when 70 percent of the Yoshino cherry tree blossoms open, delivering a wash of pink from tree to tree.

Blooms can last up to 14 days, depending on weather conditions. Strong winds, rain, high temperatures and frost can shorten the timeframe.

To celebrate the 1912 gift from Japan, the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival is held over the span of four weekends. The festival draws about 1.5 million each year and boasts a $160 million impact to the regional economy, according to festival spokesperson Nora Strumpf.

The festival's opening ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 26, at the Warner Theatre.

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