Waianae teacher is new Cherry Blossom Festival queen

Photo: Cherry Blossom Festival

A Waianae Elementary School teacher is your new Cherry Blossom queen.

Alexis Sayuri Okihara was crowned the 64th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen at the annual Festival Ball at Sheraton Waikiki Saturday night.

Okihara is a graduate of Kaiser High School and the University of Oregon.

“It was such an amazing night that I was able to share with my family and friends,” she said. “I especially loved being dressed in my furisode kimono. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Her court includes First Princess Brittney Kawahara, Princesses Ritsuko Tomori, Kristi Murakami and Asia Ayabe; and Miss Congeniality Dylan Lau. Ayabe was also named Miss Popularity.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is a culmination of months of classes that include Japanese business etiquette, tea ceremony and public speaking.

“I enjoyed all of the cultural classes that we had the opportunity to participate in, and I’ve gained so much knowledge about my Japanese heritage,” Okihara said. “I’m excited to continue to share my cultural experiences with my family, students, and community.”

Applications are currently being accepted for Queen Contestants in next year’s festival. Click here for more information.

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