In honor of Women’s History Month and the release of the Peak Bloom dates for the Cherry Blossom Festival, here is a #tbt to the ladies who started it all.
After arriving back to Washington, DC from her first visit to Japan, Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore (first female board member of the National Geographic Society) was so enamored by the Cherry Blossom trees there that she suggested that some be planted along the reclaimed land by the Potomac River. It took her 24 years before the idea finally took root. In 1909, Scidmore decided to raise money to buy some cherry trees and donate them to the District. Mainly out of formality, Scidmore wrote a letter to First Lady Helen Herron Taft and she enthusiastically responded back taking up the task of acquiring the trees. On August 30, 1909, the Embassy of Japan informed the U.S. State Department that on behalf of Mayor Yukio Ozaki, the city of Tokyo intended to donate 2000 cherry trees to the U.S. to be planted along the Potomac as a symbol of the growing and continued friendship between the U.S. and Japan. Unfortunately, when they arrived the trees were infested with insects and nematodes, so they sadly had to be burned. Another donation of 3,020 trees were shipped over on February 14, 1912. On March 27th, First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two of these trees on the north bank of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park. These two trees still stand today at the end of 17th Street SW!
Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore
Helen Herron Taft, 1909.
You can see these breathtaking trees in full bloom on our Blossoms by Bike tour! The National Park Service projects Cherry Blossom 2019 peak bloom dates to be April 3rd to April 6th. Book now to take in the beauty of the blossoms and more on our two-hour tour, the official bike tour of the National Cherry Blossom Festival!
This special ride showcases the famous Japanese cherry trees, their history and the amazing sea of pink and white blossoms. Book now for the best dates! http://bit.ly/BlossomsByBike
Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom
We asked our awesome tour guides what their favorite Christmas on Wheels tour stops were. They were super enthusiastic with their responses because, well, they just love Christmas in D.C.!
We start with Tour Guide Bill!
Q: How long have you been a guide at Bike and Roll?
A: I’ve been a tour guide with Bike and Roll for 5 years.
Q: What is your favorite stop on the Christmas tour and why?
A: I love seeing the Capitol Tree brought in each year, it’s just a majestic setting for a tree. You also can’t beat the holiday decorations at the Willard.
Q: Why do love being a tour guide here?
A: After 5 years of Segway tours, it’s still fun meeting great people and sharing tidbits about things here in the Nation’s Capital.
Willard Christmas Decorations
Capitol Christmas Tree “DUSK” By: S N LONG
Check back for our next Tour Guide installment!
Pennsylvania Avenue gets all dressed up for Christmas and it’s truly a sight to be seen. That’s why it’s another one of our favorite Christmas on Wheels tour highlights.
Pennsylvania Avenue is a street that connects the White House and the Capitol Building and is referred to as “America’s Main Street”. You will find the Canadian Embassy, National Archives Building, Old Post Office Pavilion, and more.
During the Christmas season, Pennsylvania Avenue is festive and cheerful with outdoor markets and Christmas lights.
Don’t miss out on experiencing Washington, DC at its most magical. Book a Christmas on Wheels tour with us now!
Bike and Roll DC’s “Christmas on Wheels” Bicycle and Segway Tours begin December 5th and we can hardly wait!
One of our favorite stops on the tour is the Capitol Christmas tree. This year, the Capitol Christmas tree is a Noble fir from Willamette National Forest in Oregon.
The 75-foot-tall tree will be lit on December 5th at 5 p.m. by the speaker of the House and will be decorated with handmade ornaments from people who live in Oregon.
“DUSK” By: S N LONG
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and our tour guides are looking forward to spending the holiday season with you! Make your reservations now for our Christmas on Wheels tour to experience the Capitol Christmas Tree and so much more.