Sunday, April 5 - Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony

2:30pm – 4:30pm
TIDAL BASIN AT INDEPENDENCE AVENUE & 17TH STREET SW *WASHINGTON, DC

The 2015 Festival symbolizes the blossoming of the Cherry Blossom tress and the Stone Lantern Ceremony marks the 100th Anniversary of the gift of Dogwood trees from the United States to Japan, in addition to celebrating the 67th Anniversary of the NCSS Cherry Blossom Princess Program - "Aspiring Leadership And Empowering Young Women".

The ceremony takes place at the newly dedicated Japanese Rock Garden and is put on by NCSS, in conjunction with the National Park Service National Capital Region.  It includes traditional music by the Toho Koto Society of Washington, DC and songs by the Washington Japanese Choral Society.  The Joint Armed Forces Color Guard of the Military District of Washington, DC presents the colors.  

The Japanese Stone Lantern, stands 8.5 feet tall and weighing 4,000 pounds, was carved nearly four centuries ago to honor the Third Shogun of the Tokugawa period. In 1954, the lantern was presented to Washington, DC as a gift commemorating the 100th anniversary of America’s first treaty with Japan.  Since then, the Stone Lantern is lit once each year by the Princess representing the Embassy of Japan, and only during the Cherry Blossom Festival.  It stands 50 feet east of the first two cherry blossom trees planted by First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Iwa Chinda of Japan on March 27, 1912.

The concert and ceremony are free and open to the public.


Tuesday, April 7 - Cherry Blossom Celebration of States & Territories Reception

6:00pm – 8:30pm
Ft. Myer Officers’ Club, Koran Room, Ft. Myer VA

Join the U.S. and Japan Cherry Blossom Queens, along with all the State, Territory, and International Cherry Blossom Princesses, for an evening featuring food and drink from around the country.   Club Manager, Marco Rosa, is a former White House Executive Chef from two different Administrations and has promised foods from our entire region.

This event allows all Princesses and Societies an opportunity to interact at one venue and it also allows the Alumnae who are in town a chance to visit with both 2015 Princesses as well as their friends from their Princess years. It also provides all Princesses with a celebration, whether they are from a large small or non- existent Society.  Each Society President/Delegate will be given time to introduce their Princess.

There will be a full Cash Bar with a signature Cherry Blossom drink. Vendors will be on site with Cherry Blossom custom items available.  Free parking is available at the club.
Wednesday, April 8 – Cherry Blossom Congressional Reception

6:30pm – 8:00pm
Cannon caucus room * cannon house office building, room 345 * WASHINGTON, DC

An annual event since the 1950s, this reception draws numerous members of Congress and foreign diplomats, who will escort Cherry Blossom Princesses representing their respective states, territories, or embassies.  Drawing Congressional staff, Hill journalist, International diplomats and other VIP guests, who mix and mingle while discussing the major issues of the day.  The event will take place on Capitol Hill in the Cannon Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building, Room 345 in Washington, DC.

Invited Honorary Chairs for the reception are The Hon. Lisa Murkowski and The Hon. Shelley Moore-Capito. Featured guests for the evening include Ambassador and Mrs. Kenichiro Sasae. Complimentary Sapporo Beer, American Summit water, appetizers and beverages will be served.

Societies must have a confirmed escort for their Princess by Friday, April 3, 2015. Please email: audrey.paranka@yahoo.com with the following information regarding escorts:
Princess escorting:
Escort name:
Email:
Phone (day of event):

To attend this event - a reservation is required.  Email this information to maxgigle@gmail.com by Thursday, April 2, 2015.

Friday, April 10 - Princess Alumnae Event

8:00am – 12:30pm
Cherry Blossom Princess Alumnae Event

This year we will be holding a special event for our Cherry Blossom Princess Alumnae on Friday, April 10th. All past princesses are invited to wear their sashes and ride the bus with the 2015 Class of Cherry Blossom Princesses to the Blind Industries and Services of Maryland facility. The event includes a small program, tour of the facility, and a networking lunch. This special opportunity will allow past and present princesses to connect, learn more about BISM, and welcome the 2015 Princess Class into the Pi Alpha Kappa Cherry Blossom Princess Sorority as they officially receive their pins. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to connect and collaborate with Cherry Blossom Princesses from all generations! Space is limited. Register ASAP.


$25 for our Princess Alumnae to participate :)      Make checks payable to: NCSS 

Send to:  NCSS * c/o Treasurer, Princess Alumnae Event * PO Box 70175 * Washington, DC 20024 


Please direct any questions to: kfhenicke@gmail.com
Friday, April 10 – Official Cherry Blossom Grand Ball and Sushi Reception

6:00pm – 12:00 midnight
JW MARRIOTT HOTEL - 1331 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW * WASHINGTON, DC

Capping the week of activities is the coronation of the United States Cherry Blossom Queen at the 2015 Official Cherry Blossom Grand Ball and Sushi Reception.  An elegant black tie affair, attended by Washington’s power elite, who gather together with the States, Territories and International Embassies.  The evening starts with guests being treated to a sampling of sushi, specially prepared by master Sushi Chefs of Japan. Each chef has extraordinary artful skills and will create a specialty for the guests, while guests are enjoying complimentary Sapporo Beer, Mu Sake and American Summit Sparkling & Still Water throughout the evening.

With a special dinner call of the guests, the ballroom doors are officially opened, inviting guests to their tables for dinner and the entertainment program with the Princesses, family & friends, and dignitaries.  

Following the entertainment program & dinner, the Princesses are formally introduced during the Grand March by our MC, to center stage, preparing them for the much anticipated crowning.  With a fateful spin, the Wheel of Fortune selects the princess who will serve as the 2015 U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen during the 67th Anniversary year. For a few moments she wears the ceremonial Mikimoto Crown, a priceless Japanese work of art.   A gift from Mikimoto Co. Ltd., a smaller replica Crown and strand of Mikimoto pearls are presented to the 2015 U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen as a special keepsake. 

Once crowned, our 2015 United States Cherry Blossom Queen is traditionally invited to Japan to represent the United States in Japan’s 2015 Cherry Blossom Festival & Dogwood festivities. 

The evening rounds out with gala guests dancing to live music—the sounds of Big Band Caliente—followed by a DJ playing top hits.  Valet Parking is available on the premises, along with garage parking.

This Official NCSS Cherry Blossom Grand Ball & Sushi Reception is a beloved Washington, DC favorite and highlight of the DC social calendar.

Saturday, April 11 - National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade®

10:00am – 12:00pm
ConstiTution AVENUE NW, WASHINGTON, DC

The newly-crowned 2015 NCSS United States Cherry Blossom Queen and her Japan counterpart make their first public appearance during the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade® presented by Events DC. One of DC’s largest spectator events, the energy-filled Parade runs for 10 blocks along iconic Constitution Avenue. Giant colorful helium balloons, elaborate floats, marching bands from across the country, celebrity entertainers, and performers burst down the Parade route in a grand spectacle of music and showmanship seen only once a year during the Festival. The steps of the National Archives serve as an exciting performance backdrop, and vibrant costumes and blossom-inspired décor create the look of nation’s premier springtime parade.  WUSA 9 airs the spectacle locally in a delayed telecast from noon to 2:00 p.m, and the Parade will be syndicated across the country this spring.

No charge for curbside viewing or attendees can buy grandstand tickets online at: http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/2014/07/21/2015parade/  for more information, visit: http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/

Saturday, April 11 - Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival®

11:00am – 6:00pm
12th St and Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

The Japan-America Society of Washington DC presents the annual Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival, a vibrant afternoon featuring Japanese featuring food, arts and culture, merchandise, and live traditional and J-Pop performances on four stages, including martial arts demonstrations, and more. Visitors to the National Conference of State Societies tent, located in the center of the festival, mingle with the 2015 U.S. and International Cherry Blossom Princesses.

Attendees can buy tickets online at www.sakuramatsuri.org or pay cash at any of the entrances on the day of the festival.  For more information, visit www.sakuramatsuri.org/.