Cherry Blossom Festival accepts applications for Queen Contestants

The 62nd Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court from left to right: Miss Popularity Alysha Tanabe, Princess Nicole Ansai, 1st Princess and Miss Congeniality Chelsea Okamoto, Queen Sarah Kamida, Princess Alyssa Fujihara and Princess Cara Tsutsuse. (Photo: Chris Kwock)

The Cherry Blossom Festival, now in its 63rd year, is currently accepting applications for Queen Contestants.

Queen Contestants are selected for their dedication to perpetuating Japanese culture, commitment to education and passion for community service.

Over the course of several months, they are exposed to various aspects of Japanese culture, from taiko and tea ceremony to bon dance and calligraphy, receive valuable public speaking and professional training, and participate in community service activities.

Then, in March 2015, a Queen, First Princess and three Princesses are selected by a panel of esteemed judges at the annual Festival Ball and coronation ceremony. Miss Congeniality and Miss Popularity are also crowned at that time.

Applicants must have at least 50 percent Japanese ancestry, be between the ages of 19 and 26 years old, single, a United States citizen and Hawaii resident, and meet other requirements. A completed registration form, documentation and a $30 application fee is required.

Applications are available online here and must be postmarked by August 15, 2014.

The Cherry Blossom Festival began in 1953 and is one of the longest, continually running ethnic festivals in Hawaii.

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