WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new Cherry Blossom Festival Queen has been crowned.
Heather Kiyomi Omori, a University of Hawaii alumna, won the title in front of a full house at the Sheraton Waikiki Saturday night.
Omori is a teacher and behavior interventionist. She holds a BA in Psychology and a Master's in Elementary Education. She currently works as a teacher at Daniel K. Inoyue Elementary School and says community service will be the foundation of her upcoming reign.
"I am so excited to give back and do community service. I love doing community service with my students," Omori said following her crowning. "I can't wait to give back to the Cherry Blossom Festival."
Omori is also a 2008 graduate of Mililani High School.
For the next year, Omori and the five other women of her court will serve as ambassadors for the Japanese culture in Hawaii around the world.
Omori was one of 15 contestants vying for the title. In preparation for the pageant, contestants spent months attending cultural advising, speech classes and rehearsals.
In addition to the title, Omori also won the Violet Niimi Oishi scholarship, valued at $5,000.
Governor David Ige was on hand to crown the new queen.
The Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the longest running cultural events in Hawaii. Contestants competing are judged on their knowledge of the Japanese culture, and their ability to blend East and Western culture.
The title of 1st Princess was given to Kirstie Hiroi Maeshiro-Takiguchi. Takiguchi also won the title of Miss Popularity.
The members of the court will host public appearances and community service events in the coming months. For more information on the Cherry Blossom Festival, click here.