Cherry blossom trees in bloom bringing people together in Vancouver

Alex Zhu takes a photo of Vancouver’s cherry blossoms in full bloom in 2009. Photo from CP.

An annual tradition in Vancouver fell on the perfect spring weekend, coinciding with Easter and giving people a chance to get outside and enjoy the spectacular display of cherry blossoms that turns the city into an enormous work of natural art.

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is a local celebration of “romance” and “renewal” that brings many of the city’s residents and tourists together. People can enjoy outdoor picnics, nighttime events and maps that help find the best places to see the iconic flowers that shower passersby in a dusting of light pink petals at the slightest breeze.

The festival kicked off on March 30 and runs through April 23, but Mother Nature is in control of this art exhibit. Therefore, the blossoms may fade earlier or hold on a bit longer, depending on the weather.

CBC News reports the cherry blossom season can begin anytime from January to May, while acknowledging that an unusually harsh winter on the West Coast caused the city’s 43,000 cherry blossom trees to bloom a little late this year.

Many Vancouverites and tourists alike are trying to beat the clock by catching a glimpse of the trees before the petals fall to the ground. One suburban street in particular has seen some of the excitement around the festival cause problems in the neighbourhood.

“We love that people come and admire the trees, but don’t go grabbing branches off the trees and try to make it rain on purpose with the petals,” Lele Chan told CTV News. “Respect the neighbourhood.”

In response, Chan created an Instagram account to document what she is calling “cherry blossom madness.”

CTV News also reports that Vancouver traffic agents are handing out a lot of parking tickets in residential areas where cherry blossom enthusiasts seem to be congregate.

Can we really blame them though? Isn’t a $30 parking ticket worth this view?