Cherry Blossom Festival Officially Kicks Off With Expanded Pink Tie Party
The centennial celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, an honorary recognition of the namesake trees given to Washington by Japan in 1912, officially began Tuesday with the sixth annual Pink Tie Party, which returned to the Mayflower Renaissance hotel for the second year. The taste-around event experienced growth in both attendees and restaurant participation with a sold-out crowd of 750 stepping out to taste cherry-blossom-inspired bites from 35 restaurants.
"We have the mentality that for the 100th anniversary we wanted to go for 'the more the merrier,'" said director of programming Lillian Iverson, adding that this year's festival sold 150 more tickets than in 2011. “We were at the Mayflower last year and noticed that not all the spaces, like the balcony in the grand ballroom, were used, so we could accommodate more this time.”
As part of the new layout, the host committee eliminated the V.I.P. area with its secluded group of restaurants and chefs, opting instead to provide ticket holders access to all 35 restaurants, including Zengo, Founding Farmers, Boqueria, and Hudson Restaurant and Lounge. The restaurant’s tables lined the walls of the hotel’s main hallway and adjacent ballrooms and meeting spaces. Illuminated bars adorned with artificial cherry blossom trees in the grand ballroom served a variety of pink specialty cocktails including Chambord pink champagne and a Blossom Cosmopolitan.
At the far end of the main hall, guests received a golden key to try in the ignition of a Lincoln 2012 MKZ Hybrid parked inside the Lincoln Lounge, which featured a Chambord pink champagne bar. The person whose key started the car won a night on the town in Washington, which featured a specially prepared dinner at Ris for 10 people.
After the food service ceased, guests moved to the East Room for the after-party with DJ Menan until 11 p.m. Macy’s and Capitol File magazine also served as top sponsors.
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