2017 NorCal Cherry Blossom Queen Candidates Announced


The 2017 Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen Candidates in San Francisco’s Japan Center. Front row, from left: Kellie Rachel Ouye, Kelli Keiko Fujinaga, Jacquelyn Kimiko Chew, Ayame Yoshizawa. Back row, from left: Sydney Kikue Paderna, Hilary Kiyomi Ego. (David Yu Photography)


SAN FRANCISCO — The six candidates for the 50th annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Program were announced on March 12. They are:

• Ayame Yoshizawa, 19, of San Francisco. Creative expression: Nihon buyo (Japanese classical dance). Eucation: B.A. in cinema, City College of San Francisco. Sponsor: Nikkei Lions Club of San Francisco.

• Sydney Kikue Paderna, 24, of Oakland. Creative expression: Koto. Eduation: B.A. in sports psychology, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Sponsor: Friends of the Golden Gate Optimist Club.

• Jacquelyn Kimiko Chew, 26, of Buena Park. Creative expression: Nihon buyo. Education: M.S. in marketing analytics, Northwestern University. Sponsor: Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California.

• Hilary Kiyomi Ego, 25, of San Francisco. Creative expression: Spoken word. Education: M.S. in water resources management and environmental studies, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Sponsor: Benihana.

• Kelli Keiko Fujinaga, 22, of Foster City. Creative expression: Hula. Education: B.S. in marketing, Santa Clara University. Sponsor: Nihonmachi Street Fair.