HONOLULU (KHON2) – The 69th Cherry Blossom Festival was held on Saturday, Jan. 23.
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The festival, whose theme this year is Kibou, or hope, kicked off with the reveal of the 2021 Queen contestants.
“As the Cherry Blossom Festival enters its 69th, and most unique year, we have seen that hope not only inspires change, but effects it as well,” said Festival General Co-Chairs Lauren Dookchitra and Eryn Muraoka. “Our efforts to preserve and perpetuate the Japanese culture and heritage would not have been possible without the hope and perseverance of our sponsors, donors, volunteers and community. We are so excited that the festival is possible this year.”
Organizers say the 11 Queen contestants were selected for their commitment to the perpetuation of Japanese culture and passion for education and community service.
- Shelly Imamura
- Kristyn Katayama
- Krista Ann Lee
- Jacie Miyashiro
- Kira Moriguchi
- Kaydi Onaga
- Motomi Otsubo
- Sydney Shibuya
- Taylor Tashiro
- Trisha Toguchi
- Brianne Yamada
Each contestant has already begun a rigorous series of virtual cultural and personal development
classes, which include instruction in taiko, tea ceremony, Japanese business etiquette and public
speaking. Event organizers say they will continue to do so throughout the festival while adhering to COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the City and County of Honolulu.
The Queen contestant experience will culminate in the 69th Cherry Blossom Festival Ball, which is scheduled to take place on April 3 at 4 p.m. at Sheraton Waikiki.
According the festival organizers, contestants will share personal speeches and answer impromptu questions while dressed in furisode kimono. At the end of the night, the 69th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court will be crowned.
More information about the annual event can be found here.