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Congressman Young Welcomes Alaska’s 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess to Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young welcomed Nicole Eldred – Alaska’s 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess – to Washington, D.C. this week as she participates in an annual celebration honoring the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan. Nicole, who was nominated to represent Alaska this year by Congressman Young, is participating in a week long cultural festival alongside representatives from all 50 states and five U.S. territories. The annual Cherry Blossom festival is ongoing, taking place from March 20 – April 17, 2016.

Congressman Young served as Alaska Cherry Blossom Princess Nicole Eldred’s escort during the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Princess Reception at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

“It’s been an honor to nominate Nicole as our 2016 Alaska Cherry Blossom Princess and join her throughout this annual celebration honoring our nation’s close relationship with the Japanese people,” said Congressman Young. “Nicole, an accomplished young woman in her own right, joins the ranks of so many others, including Senator Murkowski, who have so honorably represented our state in this celebration of nations. As a valued member of my staff last summer, Nicole proved to be a remarkable ambassador for Alaska – something she has continued throughout this year’s festival and will do long into the future.”

Nicole Eldred sharing her experience as Alaska’s 2016 princess at the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Princess Reception.

Nicole, daughter of Fran and John Eldred, is a 2014 graduate of South Anchorage High School. She currently attends Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA where she studies philosophy. Nicole is actively engaged in community service and civic activities, having worked as an adaptive ski instructor for Challenge Alaska and served as a Congressional intern during the two previous summers.

Each year, the Alaska delegation rotates nominating and hosting a young woman from Alaska to represent the State during the Cherry Blossom Festival.  The Cherry Blossom Festival is a benefit sponsored by the National Conference of State Societies that was set up by Congress on April 3, 1952 to celebrate a new era of peaceful relations between Japan and the United States. Tomorrow, a young woman from the United States will be selected as Queen – by the spin of a wheel – to join with a young woman from Japan to celebrate ongoing American-Japanese diplomacy for the coming year.

Congressman Young sharing a video message with 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess Nicole Eldred of Anchorage (click here to watch).



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