64th Cherry Blossom Festival seeks Queen Contestants

The 63rd Cherry Blossom Festival Court from left: Princess Jessica Naomi Kaleikaimana Kaneshiro, Princess Kyla Miyuki Teramoto, Queen Kimberly Kimiko Takata, 1st Princess and Miss Congeniality Rosalei Teruko Chinen, Princess Celina Kiyomi Quach and Miss Popularity Heather Rie Miura. (Photo: Chris Kwock/Cherry Blossom Festival)

The 64th Cherry Blossom Festival is currently accepting applications for Queen Contestants.

The festival began in 1953 and is one of the longest, continually running ethnic festivals in the state.

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 public speaking and professional training, and participate in community service activities.

Contestants often come away feeling more confident and poised, and with a deeper appreciation of their background and culture. They also form close friendships with the other contestants.

The experience culminates in March 2016, when 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.

The Queen and Court are active throughout the year, appearing at public events, participating in community service activities, and traveling to sister cities on the U.S. mainland and Japan, representing the festival and local Japanese-American community.

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 1, 2015.

For more information, email cbfhawaii.contestantsearch@gmail.com.

Photo: Chris Kwock/Cherry Blossom Festival
Photo: Chris Kwock/Cherry Blossom Festival

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