If you think you have what it takes to be the next Cherry Blossom Festival queen, your time is running out to apply.
The deadline to submit Queen Contestant applications for the 65th Cherry Blossom Festival is Aug. 1.
Queen Contestants are selected for their dedication to perpetuating Japanese culture, commitment to education and passion for community service. Over the course of several months, they are exposed to various aspects of Japanese culture, from taiko and tea ceremony to bon dance and calligraphy, receive valuable public speaking and professional training, and participate in community service activities.
The Contestant experience culminates in March 2017, when a Queen, First Princess and three Princesses are selected by a panel of esteemed judges at the annual Festival Ball and coronation ceremony. Miss Congeniality and Miss Popularity are also crowned at that time.
Applicants must have at least 50 percent Japanese ancestry, and be a United States citizen and Hawaii resident, among other requirements.
For the first time, the festival has also increased the age limit for applicants from 26 to 28 years old.
“The new age limit offers more young women the opportunity to participate in the Cherry Blossom Festival experience, through which they can learn about their Japanese culture, improve their poise and public speaking and gain leadership skills,” said festival general co-chairs Kristin Alm and Kristine Wada.
A completed registration form, documentation and a $30 application fee are required.