Washingtonians should sure feel grateful for Yukio Ozaki, the Tokyo mayor who gave us 3,000 cherry trees back in 1912. If he hadn’t, would the leaders of our city have come up with such a reliable scam to lure millions of people here every spring to spend money? Each year, city tourism officials watch the pink clouds swathing the tidal basin with the concern of a farmer eyeballing his season’s crop—and this year more so than any, given that it’s the 100th anniversary of Ozaki’s generous gift. If you’re truly invested in “promoting the beauty of nature and international friendship through year-round programs, events, and educational initiatives,” you can spend $200 to attend tonight’s Pink Tie Party benefiting the nonprofit that runs the festival. Chefs José Andrés and Roy Yamaguchi, “innovators in the culinary community,” will dish the bites. And you best wear your frilliest frock.
The Pink Tie Party begins at 7 p.m. at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave. NW. $200. The Cherry Blossom Festival continues through April 27 at various locations. See a complete schedule at nationalcherryblossomfestival.org. (877) 44-BLOOM.