Without its usual crowd, a new Cherry Blossom Festival queen is crowned

Without its usual crowd, a new Cherry Blossom Festival queen is crowned
The 68th Cherry Blossom Festival court was crowned Sunday. (Source: Cherry Blossom Festival)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Every year, the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce crowns a new festival queen and court in front of a full house at a Waikiki ballroom.

But with the pandemic resulting in the ban of mass gatherings, this year was clearly different.

The organization said a smaller festival ball within CDC guidelines was held over the weekend. Fifteen women were in the running for the title and underwent months of training, public appearances and cultural lessons.

On Sunday, a new queen was crowned, marking the culmination of seven months of hard work for the contestants.

Jewel Kahiwalani Miyuki Mahoe won the title of Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Miss Congeniality.

She was selected by an esteemed panel of judges for her dedication to perpetuating Japanese culture, promoting education and community service.

Other court members include Sophia Aiko Teruya, who won First Princess and Miss Popularity; and princesses Lauren Elizabeth Holt, Alyssa Mika Nakamoto and Kelsey Toshie Uyeda.

During the months leading up to the crowning, the contestants participated in workshops ranging from business etiquette, to aikido, ikebana, calligraphy and so much more.

Mahoe also won the Violet Niimi Oishi Scholarship.

For more information, click here.

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.