By Anna Mohler
After being chosen from the National Conference of State Societies last week, a Catholic University student prepared for a week full of activities as a Cherry Blossom Princess.
Brianna Howard, a sophomore politics major, represented her home state of Pennsylvania in the National Cherry Blossom Festival Princess Program, hoping to be the winner of a two-week long trip to Japan.
Through an application process, the women chosen by the National Conference of State Societies represented their home states in front of government officials, art and business leaders, and media professionals. Not only will these women appear in public events, such as on a float during the Cherry Blossom festival parade in Washington, D.C., but they also participate in several private events hosted by the Japanese Embassy. These events are meant to more fully immerse the participating women in the ceremonies and to introduce them to the Japanese culture.
“The week is jam packed with tons of amazing opportunities from meeting different politicians, to visiting a farm, to attending a reception and traditional tea ceremony at the Japanese Ambassadors’ residence,” Howard said when asked what she would be taking part in during the week.
At the end of the week, all princesses and their families attend a Sushi Gala hosted by the Japanese Embassy. The women spend the evening networking and socializing with Japanese and American politicians.
During this event, the newest Cherry Blossom Queen is also chosen by means of a wheel of fortune. In this way, the winner is completely random. The responsibilities of the Queen begins there at the ceremony.
“The winner of the Princess Program who is selected as the Queen gets to go on a two-week trip to Japan,” said Howard after being asked what she was most looking forward to experiencing. “To have the opportunity to represent the United States in Japan would be an unforgettable experience.”
In all, Howard was most excited about all the new experiences that she was able to take part in.
“Being the Pennsylvania Cherry Blossom Princess is an amazing opportunity that most young women will never have,” Howard said. “I think that the experience will be one that will greatly benefit me both personally and professionally.”
Visit the National Conference of State Societies website for more information about how to represent your home state or territory as a Cherry Blossom Princess in 2017.