Every year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place in Washington D.C. to celebrate the Mayor of Tokyo's gift of Japanese cherry trees to the United States in 1912. The real goal of the Festival is to celebrate the special friendship Japan and the United States share and to promote cultural exchange between the two countries. Communications Officer for the Montana State Society, Stephanie Samford, tells us about some of the activities at the festival and announces Montana's princess this year.

Whitney Derks will stand with other Princesses representing both U.S. States and Embassies when the winner of the Cherry Blossom Princess is announced this spring. Unlike a normal pageant, the winner of the contest is chosen at random by spinning a giant wheel. If Ms. Derks is chosen she will wear a 50-year-old crown donated by a Japanese jeweler and will have the honor of representing the entire United States on a trip to Japan.