Applications open for the 70th Cherry Blossom Festival

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The Cherry Blossom Festival is entering its 70th year and organizers are seeking applicants for the upcoming event.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the longest ethnic festivals in Hawaii.

Having started in 1953, the festival was created to celebrate Japanese culture and support young Japanese-American women.

During the six months leading up to the festival, participants will participate in cultural activities such as taiko lessons and tea ceremonies.

“I think the assumption sometimes for the Cherry Blossom Festival is that it’s a beauty pageant, but it’s not emphasized at all. What it’s really about is the professional development and the cultural aspect of it, ”said Brianne Yamada, the 69th Cherry Blossom Queen.

“There are a lot of classes like calligraphy and ikebana that are much more traditional than in everyday life that you can kind of overlook.”

This past year, many events have taken place virtually as a result of the pandemic.

Although the festival was unfolded differently from previous years, contestants were still able to learn and celebrate their Japanese heritage.

“The cherry blossom and this whole process has really been the silver lining through COVID. It’s something that challenged the volunteers, but also challenged me to do something outside of my comfort zone, ”said Yamada.

Organizers said applications for the next festival are now open and must be stamped by August 15 to be considered.

To qualify, applicants must be at least half Japanese or Okinawan and must be between 19 and 28 years old.

For more information or to apply, Click here.

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