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HomeCommunitySt. Croix's Alessandra M. Evangelista Crowned Cherry Blossom Queen in Washington, D.C.

St. Croix’s Alessandra M. Evangelista Crowned Cherry Blossom Queen in Washington, D.C.

St. Croix native Alessandra M. Evangelista will represent the U.S. in Japan during her reign (Submitted photo)

The Virgin Islands Association, D.C. (VIADC) announces that Alessandra Maria Evangelista of St. Croix was crowned as the 2024 U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen at the National Conference of State Societies Official Gala on Friday, April 12, in Washington, D.C.

The National Conference of State Societies is the non-profit, voluntary umbrella association for state and territorial societies in the National Capital Region.

Evangelista, the daughter of Richard and Wanda Evangelista, is a third-year undergraduate at American University studying International Studies who recently returned from a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain. She is also an executive board member of the Sisterhood for International Engagement.

Evangelista represented the U.S. Virgin Islands in the 76th Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, a perennial tradition celebrating U.S. and Japanese relations.

Queen Alessandra said, “First, I would like to thank the Virgin Islands Association of D.C. for giving me the opportunity to represent my home as a delegate in the 2024 Cherry Blossom Program. I would also like to thank Ms. Diane Parrott and her team for her guidance and support throughout this entire process. Finally, I want to thank my parents, Richard and Wanda Evangelista, and the village they have amassed for me that supports me. As an international relations major, I am deeply interested in global affairs and politics. The Cherry Blossom program perfectly combines my personal interests with my future career goals.”

Virgin Islands Association, D.C. Cherry Blossom Committee Chair Diane Parrott said, “This is an exciting time for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Evangelista, the 2024 U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen, will travel to Japan for two weeks this summer to promote and strengthen the relationship between the United States and Japan. She will also get the opportunity to promote the U. S. Virgin Islands.” Evangelista has had an amazing week, she said.

On Sunday, April 7, she began her journey as the 2024 USVI Cherry Blossom Princess delegate with the lighting of the historic Japanese Stone Lantern on the shore of the Tidal Basin in D.C. The lantern symbolizes friendship between Japan and the United States.  During the week, some of the events she participated in included conferences, visits to embassies and museums, and reading to elementary school students.

“On Wednesday, April 10, the annual Cherry Blossom Princess Delegate Congressional Reception was held where our very own Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett was in attendance. My voice is still recovering from the gala held on Friday, April 12, as I screamed as loud as I could when the wheel stopped spinning on U.S. Virgin Islands,” she said. For 76 years, the U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen has been selected by the spin of a wheel and this is a first for the USVI. In 2017, the wheel stopped for the first runner-up position.

“The week of activities culminated with the Cherry Blossom parade on Saturday, April 13, where our VIADC beautiful, intelligent Cherry Blossom Princess delegate made her first public appearance as the 2024 U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen when she rode on the float waving to spectators along Constitution Avenue. I am looking forward to the exciting year ahead during her reign. Alessandra is a remarkable young lady and we are very proud of her,” said Parrott.

The USVI has been represented by Cherry Blossom princesses, now called delegates, since 1982, first through the office of the delegate to Congress, and later through the Virgin Islands Association, D.C.

About the National Cherry Blossom Program

The Cherry Blossom Program is a cultural, educational, and professional development experience for young women leaders, ages 19 through 24, from across the United States and the world. State/territorial societies or international embassies select candidates for their accomplishments in leadership and academics, interest in international relations and world affairs, and a record of community service.

In their roles as Cherry Blossom Princess delegates, the young women serve as representatives for their states, territories and countries, participating in daily public and private events across the National Capital Area. They actively interact with prominent leaders in government, business, the arts and media.

The Virgin Islands Association, D.C. website is www.viadc.org. Email Diane Parrott at viadc.cbc@gmail.com for more information.

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