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A chance to celebrate culture, tradition: Applications open for 70th Cherry Blossom Festival

69th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen contestants
69th Cherry Blossom Festival Queen contestants(CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL HAWAII)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 4:44 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Cherry Blossom Festival is entering its 70th year, and organizers are looking for contestants for the upcoming event.

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

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

Over the course of six months leading up to the festival, participants will take part in cultural activities such as taiko classes and tea ceremonies.

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

“There’s a lot of classes like calligraphy and ikebana that are a lot more traditional that in a day to day life that you may just kind of overlook.”

This past year, many events were held virtually due to the pandemic.

Although the festival was held differently compared to past years, contestants were still able to learn and celebrate their Japanese heritage.

“Cherry blossom and this entire process has really been the silver lining through COVID. It was something that challenged the volunteers but also challenged me to do something out of my comfort zone,” Yamada said.

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

In order qualify, applicants must be at least half Japanese or Okinawan and must be between the ages of 19 and 28 years old.

For more information or to apply, click here.

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