64th Cherry Blossom Festival crowns new queen, court

64th Cherry Blossom Festival crowns new queen, court

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new queen was crowned Saturday night at the 64th Cherry Blossom Festival.

Judges selected Alexis Okihara, a 2009 graduate of Kaiser High School, at the Cherry Blossom Festival Ball and coronation ceremony at Sheraton Waikiki, an event marking the culmination of seven months of Japanese cultural and professional development classes.

The queen, first princess and three princesses were selected for their dedication to perpetuating Japanese culture, commitment to education and passion for community service.

Okihara received a master's degree of educational leadership from Chaminade University in 2015 and a bachelor of science degree in educational foundations from the University of Oregon in 2013. She currently teaches first grade at Waianae Elementary School.

The following contestants were also named to the court:

  • 1st Princess: Brittney Yasuko Kawahara
  • Princess: Ritsuko Sarah Tomari
  • Princess: Kristi Kiyo Murakami
  • Princess and Miss Popularity: Asia Rei Katsura Ayabe
  • Miss Congeniality: Dylan Katarina Lau

The Cherry Blossom Festival, an event started in 1953, is known as Hawaii's longest, continually ethnic festivals. This year's theme was "kansha," or gratitude, which exemplifies the core value of the festival and its supporters.

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