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Washington DC Photo Gallery Lantern Lighting Ceremony

Lantern Lighting Ceremony

Every year a 350-year-old stone lantern is lit in the Thomas Jefferson Tidal Basin. This formal ceremony commemorates the 1912 gift to Washington D.C. of 3000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan. The event includes traditional Japanese performers, Washington dignitaries and the 70 Cherry Blossom princesses representing states, territories, and embassies. The lighting ceremony is held at the site of the first two cherry trees planted by Mrs. William Howard Taft and Viscountess Chinda in 1912. The Lantern ceremony is don't miss! Special thanks to Mark Rhoads of the National Conference of State Societies for his help with this gallery.

Location : Tidal Basin at Independence Ave. and 17 th St., SW.

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Washington Toho Koto Society led by Mrs. Okamoto in the pale blue kamono.

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National Cherry Blossom Princesses - California Mary MacLean and Colorado Kathrine Baldwin

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National Cherry Blossom Princesses - Louisana Merideth Lehman, Maine Melissa Danforth, Maryland Kimberly Boukal

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National Cherry Blossom Princesses - Utah Jessica Ward, Virginia Christine Collins, West Virginia Emilee Romano

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National Cherry Blossom Princesses - Florida Rhea Chiles, El Salvador Nicki Aleman, District of Columbia - Shayna Rudd

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National Cherry Blossom Princesses - Louisanna Merideth Lehman, Lithuania Egle Janeliunaite, Illinios Emily Carlson (great grand neice to Mrs. Helen Taft)

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From left to right - Ambassador Ryozo Kato, Embassy of Japan, Congressman Faleomavaega, American Samoa, Master of Ceremonies Egils Milbergs, Chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives Rev. Daniel P. Coughlin, and The Honorable Mark Rhoads

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Ambassador Ryozo Kato and Congressman Faleomavaega

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Kimiko Shimada of Cardinal Choir introduces Mayor Anthony Williams

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Cardinal Choir

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Joint Armed Forces Color Guard of the Military District of Washington enter the ceremony.

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Joint Armed Forces Color Guard of the Military District of Washington

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Joint Armed Forces Color Guard of the Military District of Washington display our National Flags with honor.

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Mayor Anthony Williams, NCSS President Tim Schlack

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Cherry Blossom Princesses sing the National Anthem

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