Cherry Blossom Program
Every year, one lucky Alaskan is chosen to represent our state in Washington, D.C.’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Working with our Congressional Delegation, the Alaska State Society nominates and supports Alaska's princess.
Prior Princesses (Partial List)
2020 -- Erin Stuart, of Anchorage
2019 -- Andrea Wagner, of Wasilla
2018 -- Sarah Powell, of Anchorage
2017 -- Caitlyn Sweeney, of Anchorage
2016 -- Nicole Eldred, of Anchorage
2015 -- Mimi Troxel, of Anchorage
2014 -- Chelsea Marlow, of Anchorage
2013 -- Elizabeth Banicki, of Chugiak
2012 -- Lauren Johnson, of Anchorage
2011 -- Grace Abbott, of Anchorage
2010 -- Jade Aldrighette, of Juneau
2009 -- Anne Johnson, of Chugiak
2008 -- Jayme Johnson, of Anchorage
2006 -- Kim VanWyn, of Fairbanks
2003 -- Lily Stevens, of Girdwood
2002 -- Timmesha Marie Brown, of Anchorage
2000 -- Mollie Hensley, of Anchorage
1999 -- Ivette Fernandez, of Fairbanks
1998 -- Angelina Elena Marquez, of Anchorage
1997 -- Amy Sparck (Dobmeier), of Bethel
1996 -- Whitney Sedwick, of Anchorage
1995 -- Becky Steer, of Anchorage
1994 -- Tracy Taylor, of Ketchikan
1970 -- Sharon Tooley, of Juneau
1969 -- Linda Fischer
And, of course, Senator Lisa Murkowski.
Information on the Cherry Blossom Princess Educational and Cultural Exchange Program
The Cherry Blossom Princess Educational and Cultural Exchange Program is a weeklong cultural and educational opportunity for young women from across the U.S. and around the world. Since 1948, state and territory societies, as well as the international embassy community, have selected accomplished young women between the ages of 19 and 24 for their academic achievement, exceptional poise and appearance, excellent interpersonal communication skills, leadership, interest in social, civic, community and world affairs strong desire to serve others through community service, maturity and responsibility, and to:
• Represent the National Conference of State Societies and Cherry Blossom Princess Program by actively supporting these organizations’ mission, values, and goals.
• Serve by attending and actively participating in NCSS and Princess Program community outreach initiatives as well as by serving at required events and social functions.
• Learn by taking advantage of opportunities for broadening personal development, volunteerism, and community involvement.
• Have fun and make new friends through festival volunteerism – one of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of participation in the National Cherry Blossom Princess program.
These young women representatives are called “Cherry Blossom Princesses.” Today more than 3,000 young women have participated in the NCSS Cherry Blossom Princess Educational and Cultural Exchange Program since 1948, including daughters of presidents, congressmen and senators. The princess program continues to inspire women of accomplishment. The Pi Alpha Kappa Cherry Blossom Princess Sorority includes Senator Lisa Murkowski.
The mission of the program is to have the Cherry Blossom Princesses participate in educational, leadership, and cultural activities as they serve their nation and respective state, in a “Washington Classroom,” by introducing the princesses to many government, cultural, military, business leaders, and female role models, who work in the nation’s capital. In the past decade, the princesses have met with First Lady Laura Bush; former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi; Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson; Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton; Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; Naval Commander Yvette Brownwhaller; Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught; Red Cross President and CEO Dr. Bernadine Healey, among others.
The U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen is chosen by a random spin of a wheel of fortune by the Japan Ambassador in Washington, D.C. The following morning, the newly crowned U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen and her Japan counterpart, along with the State, Territory, and International Princesses are invited to participate in the National Cherry Blossom Parade® and the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival.
Every year since 1948, the U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen has been selected at the Official Coronation of the United States Cherry Blossom Queen and Cherry Blossom Grand Ball from among the Cherry Blossom Princesses representing the states and territories. Every year since 1973, the NCSS-sponsored U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen has been officially invited, by the Japan Cherry Blossom Association (JCBA) to visit Japan in May.