WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The 2018 Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and her court was crowned by the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce Saturday night.
Melanie Camille Michiko Carrié won the crown and the title after beating out 14 other women at the Festival Ball and coronation ceremony held at the Sheraton Waikiki.
Crowning of the queen and court members is a culmination of months of hard work. Contestants are trained in traditional Japanese practices such as taiko, aikido, ikebana and the tea ceremony, along with professional business etiquette.
Carrié is a 2012 graduate of Western Academy of Beijing, China, and a 2016 graduate of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She holds her BA with merit in Politics and Social Anthropology, and currently works for a local real estate firm.
Her court consists of first princess Mika Lyn Nakashige, and princesses Kaydi Azure Hashima, Chelsea Momoka Briggs, Kylie Kimie Hisatake, Miss Popularity Shelby Keiko Waioluikamalie Meador, and Miss Congeniality Karly Misako Kanehiro.
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival is a showcase of Japanese culture in the islands.
Now in its 66th year, the festival is one of the longest running ethnic festivals in the state.
A highlight of the court's reign will be a trip to Japan where they will serve as Hawaii ambassadors.
The festival also gave out thousands of dollars in scholarships to some of the participants.