The 61st Cherry Blossom Festival Unveils its 15 Queen Contestants

The 61st Cherry Blossom Festival Contestants: (left-right) Misha Maletta, Hannah Tsunemoto, Whitney Shiroma, Stephanie Chiang, Eryn Kawamoto, Neysa Taba, Leila Mitsunaga, Lori Higashi, Kellene Sasano, Tiffany Hsu, Mychal Hatae, Shanna Nakamura, Crystine Ito, Ashley Higa, Chayne Toyama. Photo by Sean Nakamura.Honolulu, Hawai‘i – The 61st Cherry Blossom Festival unveiled yesterday its 15 Queen Contestants at an Opening Ceremony at The Villa at Aloha Tower Marketplace. This year's theme "Laulima," which translates to "many hands working together," was also announced. Click here to view more event photos on our Facebook page.

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 /contestants/.

One contestant will be crowned the 61st Cherry Blossom Festival Queen during this year's Festival Ball on Saturday, March 30 at 5 p.m. at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

The 61st Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Contestants are:

Stephanie Masako Chiang
Mychal Chiyoko Kanoura Hatae
Ashley Michiko Higa
Lori Hiroko Higashi
Tiffany Akemi Hsu
Crystine Hisae Ito
Eryn Akemi Kawamoto
Misha Nicole Yurie Maletta
Leila Tomoyo Mitsunaga
Shanna Kailolaina Nakamura
Kellene Noenoelani Sasano
Whitney Sachie Melendres Shiroma
Neysa Joy Mayumi Taba
Chayne Kimi Toyama
Hannah Ying Tsunemoto

About the Cherry Blossom Festival

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 61st Cherry Blossom Festival spans from January to March 2013. Featured events include several community events open to the public, Golf Tournament, Contestant Reception and the highly-anticipated Festival Ball where a new Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court will be crowned.

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 our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cbfhawaii or follow our Twitter account at www.twitter.com/cbfhi.