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Royal Welcome Home

State Sen. Patsy Ticer (D-30) greets Elisabeth Lawrence, Virginia’s Cherry Blossom princess, at the City Dock in Old Town Alexandria. Lawrence and this year’s other Cherry Blossom princesses were guests Sunday night for dinner on the Alexandria riverboat, The Cherry Blossom. Lawrence, the daughter of Robert and Joan Lawrence of Arlington, is a student at the College of Charleston, where she is studying Japanese and corporate Communications.

Lawrence and other princesses will close out the festival with the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade from 9:30 a.m.-noon on Saturday, April 3, running from 7th Street to 17th Street along Constitution Avenue NW.

The Cherry Blossom Princess Program is a weeklong cultural and educational opportunity for young women from across the United States and around the world. Women between the ages of 19 and 23, are chosen by the 50 state and 5 territory societies and the international embassy community for their leadership, academic achievements, interest in social, civic, community and world affairs.

Cherry Blossom princesses have been a part of the Cherry Blossom Festival since 1948, when the National Conference of State Societies first sent young women representing each state to the Festival. The Cherry Blossom Queen is selected from the princesses by a random wheel spin on the last night of the festival. Over 3,000 women have participated in the program over its 56-year history.