Just about every year we are reminded that Washington DC is NOT the cherry blossom capital of the country, however, New Jersey IS!

For those who have never been to Branch Brook Park in Essex County, you're missing out on something quite special in the great Garden State.

Yes, Branch Brook Park which runs through Newark and Bellville is home to the largest collection of cherry blossom trees than any other park in the country. 

Every year the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs holds their Cherry Blossom Festival in Branch Brook Park. It is home to 18 varieties and over 5200 cherry blossom trees. 

This year it will take place from Saturday, April 6th through Sunday, April 14th culminating with the annual bloom fest which is a great family fun day.

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Dennis Malloy photo
Dennis Malloy photo

Activities include Japanese cultural demonstrations, children's activities, live music, a crafter's marketplace, food and more.

But will the blooms still be there come Bloom Fest on April 14th? The cherry blossoms in Washington DC just reached stage 5 out of six last week, the earliest they've blossomed in at least two decades.

Our nation's capital is just a bit south of New Jersey with slightly warmer temps, but their weather serves as a good barometer of what's going to happen here a week or two later.

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Dennis Malloy photo
Dennis Malloy photo

Don't forget the famous groundhog did predict an early spring this year. 

So, we could possibly see those cherry blossoms a bit early this year. If you just like checking out the blossoms without all of the crowds and activities of the annual festival, you just may get your own private show before the festivities begin.

To keep track of the blooms in real time you can check out the live cam here on the Branch Brook Park Alliance website. 

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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