Centre freshman to represent Kentucky at D.C. festival
RELEASED: March 29, 2007
[Editor's Note: Laura Pasley '10, an English major from Georgetown, Ky., wrote this feature.]
Baird will join 67 other Cherry Blossom Princesses at the Capitol to visit several foreign embassies, dine with Vice President Dick Cheney, and participate in a lighting ceremony of a 300-year-old Japanese lantern, among other activities. The Princesses represent each of the 50 states as well as U.S. territories and some foreign countries.
The annual event, held during the peak of the cherry-blossoming season, commemorates a gift of 3,000 cherry trees given by the city of Tokyo to the city of Washington in 1912. The blossoms attract more than 700,000 visitors each year. The prime minister of Japan and Japan's ambassador to the United States will be present for the celebration, as well as Japan's Cherry Blossom Queen.
In order to become the Kentucky representative, Baird submitted an essay to The Kentucky State Society explaining why she would represent Kentucky well to the international community. Along with the essay, Baird sent a résumé that included GPA qualifications, extracurricular activities and community service events.
She added that Princesses must follow a strict dress code while at the festival that forbids them from wearing black, brown, dark blue or grey.
Baird will also participate in a congressional reception while at the festival, where she and the rest of the Princesses will be presented as representatives of their respective states.
"I have a lot of pride in my state," she said. "I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to represent all the different facets of Kentucky. It's such a diverse state with so much to offer, and I really am excited about showing that to the rest of the world."
Baird said the queen of the festival is selected from all the princesses at a grand ball where a giant wheel is spun in order to determine the winner.For more on the festival, visit http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/.
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