60th Cherry Blossom Festival Unveils Queen Contestants


Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012.

Contact: Sean Nakamura
Cherry Blossom Festival, Public Relations Chair
Email: cbfhawaii@gmail.com

60th Cherry Blossom Festival Unveils Queen Contestants
Honolulu, Hawai‘i – The 60th Cherry Blossom Festival unveiled today its 15 Queen Contestants at an Opening Ceremony at the Pagoda Hotel & Restaurant C’est Si Bon ballroom. This year’s theme “Kizuna,” translates to “To Bond,” was also announced at today’s ceremony.

Queen Contestants are selected for their dedication to perpetuating Japanese culture, commitment to education and passion for community service. More information about individual Queen Contestants can be found online at www.cbfhawaii.com/contestants.

One contestant will be crowned the 60th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen during Festival Ball at the Hawai‘i Theatre on March 31. Ticket information is available online at www.cbfhawaii.com/events.

The 60th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants are:
Kristin Amanda Rie Alm
Carrie Gemma Chiemi Esaki
Tomomi Julia Ida
Edrea Eri Katsunuma
Nicole Yuriko Kinney
Allison Keiko Kunichika
Shiho Matsutaka
Erin Mie Hi‘ileialoha Morimoto
Jenna Akia Moriwaki
Ter Leinaala Nakakura
Erin Ai Shiroma
Heather Leilani Chiyono Smith
Cari Ayako Tasoe
Marika Emi Yano Wilson
Mindy Mitsuyu Yoneshige

The Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the longest, continually running ethnic festivals in the State of Hawai‘i, which celebrates Japanese culture and heritage. Sponsored by the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce, the 60th Cherry Blossom Festival will span from Jan. to March 2012. Featured events include several community events open to the public, Golf Tournament, Fashion Show, Contestant Reception and the highly-anticipated Festival Ball where a new Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court will be crowned.

In 1953 Violet Tokei Niimi was crowned the very first Cherry Blossom Festival Queen. In 2001, her son, Dr. Scott Oishi established the Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship in honor of his mothers fond memories of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Dr. Oishi and a committee of four judges will select one contestant to receive $5,000 to go toward continuing her education. The recipient will be selected based on her educational excellence, essay submission, character, and community service efforts. The recipient of the 11th Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship will be announced on March 25. at the Festival Ball.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is sponsored by: Bank of Hawaii, Fujiyasu Kimono Company, Obun Hawaii Group, Watabe Wedding, Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant, Japan Airlines, Kyoya Company, Ltd, Pam Futa-Campbell, Shiseido, Island Insurance, Kirin Brewery of America, Marukai Wholesale Mart, Tori Richard, Gyotaku by Naoki, Images by Steven, JHM Productions, JTB Hawaii, and Servco Pacific

For more information about the Cherry Blossom Festival, visit www.cbfhawaii.com or call 808-949-2255. Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cbfhawaii or follow our Twitter account at www.twitter.com/cbfhi.