By Diane Ako
The 63rd Cherry Blossom Festival Ball named its new Festival Queen and Court over the weekend. They are:
Queen: Kimberly Kimiko Takata
First Princess and Miss Congeniality: Rosalei Teruko Chinen
Princess: Jessica Naomi Kaleikaimana Kaneshiro
Princess: Celina Kiyomi Quach
Princess: Kyla Miyuki Teramoto
Miss Popularity: Heather Rie Miura
In this evening, 13 Queen contestants demonstrated the poise, self confidence and Japanese culture learned over the past six months. The program opened with a rousing taiko performance by the contestants under the tutelage of master taiko artist Kenny Endo and Taiko Center of the Pacific.
For the Western phase, the contestants graced the stage dressed in elegant evening gowns generously provided by Casablanca Bridal & Formals. For the Eastern phase, the Contestants were garbed in authentic silk furisode kimono flown in especially for the Festival by Diamond Sponsor Watabe Wedding.
The Festival Ball was also the last official appearance of the 62nd Cherry Blossom Festival Queen, Sarah Kiyomi Kamida, and the members of the 62nd Cherry Blossom Festival Court.
The Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the longest, continually running ethnic festivals in the State of Hawaii, which celebrates Japanese culture and heritage. Sponsored by the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce, the 63rd Cherry Blossom Festival spans from January to March 2015.
Featured events include several community events open to the public, Golf Tournament, Contestant Reception and the highly-anticipated Festival Ball where a new Cherry Blossom Festival Queen and Court will be crowned. For more information about this, go to cbfhawaii.com.
All the photos from this year's festival are posted at https://www.facebook.com/cbfhawaii.