Marneet Lewis will represent Oregon as the 2010 Cherry Blossom Princess at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. A Skanner Foundation scholarship winner, currently is a student at Concordia College.
"I am excited," Marneet told The Skanner. "I am proud to help signify that (The Skanner Foundation scholarship) recipients are actively participating in community and civic events that are engaging and productive. Also, having once attended Portland Public Schools Japanese Immersion Program in grades K-8 with a memorable 5th grade class trip to Japan, was instrumental in inspiring me to apply for this position. I'm happy to be helping to foster friendship between Japan and the United States."
In 2008, Marneet was selected to be an intern in the late Senator Edward Kennedy's congressional office.
This year, she will join other state princesses at a week of festivals, international and cultural, celebrations, and other events in the capitol.
The 2010 National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the 98th anniversary of the City of Tokyo's original gift of 3,000 cherry trees in 1912 to the people of Washington, D.C. and represents the enduring friendship between the citizens of Japan and the United States.
One of the princesses will be chosen Cherry Blossom Queen at the National State Society Sushi reception and Ball, April 9, and begin her year-long reign by presiding over the National Cherry Blossom Parade the next day. Traditionally, the Japan Cherry Blossom Association hosts the Cherry Blossom Queen on a visit to Japan.
The festival is organized by The National Conference of State Societies, and Lewis was chosen by The Oregon State Society. State Societies celebrate the history, traditions, and cultures of America's states and territories.
The princesses are chosen for their leadership, academic achievements, and interest in social, community, and world affairs.
2010 Cherry Blossom Princesses schedule highlights:
• Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony - Tidal Basin
• Attend National Council of SS, State, & Territory Society Past Presidents - Opening Reception "Salute to Service" welcoming 2010 Princess Class to Nation's Capital, presented in partnership with the many Service Organizations of the Greater Washington DC Area.
• Visit The National Museum of Woman in the Arts,
• Visit Florida House – Lunch & Woman's Panel, (Capitol Hill)
• Tour Arlington National Cemetery/Tomb of the Unknown Solider, and attend
wreath laying ceremony – Arlington, Virginia
• Tour the Women in Military Museum,
• Attend Princess Luncheon and Fashion Show at historic Fort Myer Officer's Club, sited on the former estate of Robert E. Lee, on the hills in Arlington Virginia overlooking the Potomac River and our Nation's Capital.
• Visit Residence of Ambassador of Japan – Sushi Reception,
• Visit Cleveland Elementary School,
• Visit the Food Bank,
• Be introduced at NCSS Presidents' Congressional Reception escorted by a Member of Congress & other dignitaries - Cannon House Office Building - Caucus Room,
• Visit the National Gallery of the Arts,
• Visit & have lunch at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain,
• Participate in a USO - Community Service Project,
• Throughout the week Embassies with an International Princess may host the 2010 Princess Class, & Princesses are individually honored at evening receptions with their State Societies.
• Attend the Matsuri Japanese Street Festival:
Immediate following the Cherry Blossom parade the Princesses will visit the 50th Annual Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival which has now become the largest Japanese festival in the United States. Sponsored by the Japan-American Society of Washington D.C. last year's festival attracted over 160,000 visitors celebrating fun & family enjoyment. From sushi to origami, from sumo to sake Japanese arts and crafts and products of all kinds – anime, manga, and J-POA music, Traditional dances and dramatic taiko drums will be featured.