WASHINGTON, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young is pleased to announce that Liz Banicki, of Eagle River, has been chosen to represent Alaska as Cherry Blossom Princess during this year’s Cherry Blossom festival. In this role, Banicki, will represent Alaska at various festival events and participate in educational and networking activities. The princesses also attend a reception with Members of Congress, participate in a panel discussion on professional careers and learn about leadership opportunities for women. This year’s festival will take place from March 20 – April 14, 2013.
Congressman Don Young with Liz Banicki, of Eagle River.
“I am pleased to announce Liz as Alaska’s representative in this year’s Cherry Blossom festival,” said Rep. Young. “She has been an invaluable member of the staff and a true asset around the office. I know she will represent Alaska with poise and decorum, and serve as an example for her community back home.”
Liz currently works as an intern in Alaskan Congressman Don Young’s Washington, D.C. Office. Previous to her work for Congressman Young, Liz interned at the State Department and spent a year in Mainz, Germany on a Fulbright Scholarship. She graduated from Chugiak High School in 2006 and the University of Portland in 2010 with a double degree in Political Science and German Studies.
In 1918, the wives of William Howard Taft and the Japanese Ambassador planted the first cherry blossom trees in what was then the swampy tidal basin along the Potomac River. Each spring these trees bloom along with the plethora of cherry blossoms that have since been planted there.
After World War II, the Cherry Blossom Festival began to celebrate a new era of peaceful relations between Japan and the United States. Today, one young woman from every state is selected to join with a young woman from Japan to celebrate American-Japanese diplomacy.