By Andrea Romano
March 22, 2018
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The opening ceremony for the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival has been moved to this coming Sunday due to the crowds expected in Washington D.C. for the March For Our Lives.

The opening ceremony is still scheduled to commence at the Warner Theater on 13th Street NW, in Washington D.C., however, ceremony organizers said in a statement that the huge crowds expected for the march would impact people hoping to attend the festival.

“Based on reported crowd estimates, road closures, and recommendations provided by city officials and agencies, this decision has been made in careful consideration of our ticket holders and performers,” organizers said. “We hope this decision will allow all of our guests to have efficient and convenient access to the Opening Ceremony.”

The March For Our Lives on Saturday, March 24, is expected to attract around 500,000 people, according to the Washington Post. The march was organized by survivors of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

The march alone was expected to be challenging for the city’s transportation system, especially with the Cherry Blossom Festival on the same day. The organizers for the festival assure any ticket holders that the schedule change will not impact cherry blossom viewing. According to the National Park Service's current prediction, peak bloom (when 70 percent of blossoms are open) will not occur until some time between March 27 and March 31.