The 65th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court was revealed at its annual Festival Ball and coronation ceremony at the Sheraton Waikiki Saturday night.
Queen Heather Kiyomi Omori is a 2008 graduate of Mililani High School and a 2011 graduate of the University of Hawaii, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She received a master’s degree in elementary education from University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2013 and is currently working as a teacher and behavior interventionist at Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School in Schofield Barracks.
Her hobbies include traveling, running, and karaoke.
Omori also received the Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship due to her community service and academic excellence.
The festival court is made up of:
1st Princess and Miss Popularity Kirstie Hiroi Maeshiro-Takiguchi
Princess Kelly Ann Keiko Takiguchi
Princess Ruth Mariko Taketa
Princess Jennifer Keiko Ezaki
Miss Congeniality Roxanne Napualani Takaesu
Miss Popularity is awarded to the contestant who has accumulated the most points by raised funds used to support the perpetuation of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Miss Congeniality is awarded to the contestant who has been selected by her peers as exemplifying the spirit of friendship.
For the 15 contestants, Festival Ball is the culmination of seven months of cultural and professional development classes that include Japanese business etiquette, tea ceremony, calligraphy, taiko, aikido, ikebana, public speaking and interview training, and more.
This year’s theme is Kokoro, the Japanese word for heart, mind, and spirit, which exemplifies one of the core values of the festival and its supporters.