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CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL SET FOR MARCH 28 TO APRIL 3

 WASHINGTON, March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Conference of State Societies (NCSS) will sponsor a series of Cherry Blossom Festival events during the week of March 28 to April 3 and will participate in others. A list of some of those activities follows.
 For general information, call: National Conference of State Societies President Mark Rhoads at 202-223-5632, NCSS Second Vice President Gigi Hazen at 202-289-0300, or the NCSS Information recording at 202-686-6292. Call TicketMaster: 202-432-7328 for Gala Fashion Show Luncheon, Congressional Reception, Banquet and Grand Ball and parade grandstand tickets.
 Sunday, March 28
 3:30 p.m.: Opening Concert and Lantern-Lighting Ceremonies. Jointly sponsored by NCSS and the National Park Service. Location is the Sylvan Theater on the grounds of the Washington Monument. About 3:30 p.m. a concern will start with local area bands and choral groups.
 4:30 p.m.: Opening Ceremony at Sylvan Theater. Officials and diplomats will join traditional Japanese-American musicians from the Washington area. Master of ceremonies is Doug McElway, news anchor for WRC-TV Channel 4. NCSS princesses will be introduced, and Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly and Japanese Ambassador Takakazu Kuriyama. The princess representing the Japanese Embassy will light a traditional stone lantern to officially start the festival. Open to the public and admission is free.
 Monday, March 29
 Noon: Reception and lunch for princesses at Union Station. Possible participation by Mayor Kelly to be announced.
 3:30 p.m.: Princess visit to The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Contact NCSS General Chairman Kent Webber at 703-938-8141.
 6:30 p.m.: Pi Alpha Kappa, Sorority for all present and past Cherry Blossom princesses will hold its annual reunion dinner at the Phillips Flagship Restaurant at 900 Water St. S.W., on the waterfront. By invitation. Tickets are $30 each. Contact is NCSS Second Vice President Gigi Hazen at the office: 202-289-0300 or home: 703-908-9327.
 Tuesday, March 30
 11 a.m.: NCSS-sponsored Gala Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. Fashion show is sponsored by Mae's Dress Boutique of McLean, Va., and Hahn Shoes. M.C. is Channel 7 news anchor Susan King. A benefit for Children's Hospital.
 Lunch tickets are $40 each. Tickets may be charged by calling TicketMaster at 202-432-7328.
 Evening: Washington Harbor Cherry Blossom Splash 1. Call the National Cherry Blossom Festival Committee (NCBF) information hotline at 202-646-0366 or 202-737-2599 for more details.
 Wednesday, March 31
 9 a.m.: Princesses visit patients at the Children's Hospital at 111 Michigan Ave. N.W. Children's Hospital is the 1993 designated charity of NCSS. Contacts are Anne Sinex at 202-547-1808 or 202-547-5445 or Tracey White of Children's Hospital at 202-745-5000.
 11 a.m.: NCSS princesses leave for Annapolis to visit the U.S. Naval Academy.
 7:30 p.m.: Sushi Demonstration at Phillips Flagship Restaurant.
 8 p.m.: Spring Pops Concert hosted by the Beethoven Society. Department of the Interior Auditorium at C Street and Virginia Avenue N.W.
 Thursday, April 1
 8 a.m.: Cherry Blossom princesses tour the White House.
 6 p.m.: Congressional Reception (NCSS event). Cherry Blossom Princesses from states and territories will be escorted by members of Congress during a reception in the Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room. M.C. is Channel 5 news anchor Morris Jones. A benefit for Children's Hospital. Tickets can be purchased for $15 each from TicketMaster at 202-432-7328.
 6 p.m.: Washington Waterfront Splash 2 on Southwest Waterfront. Contact: 202-646-0366.
 Friday, April 2
 9 a.m.: NCSS Princesses visit to U.S. Navy Memorial. Contact is Capt. Kent Webber at 703-938-8141.
 Noon: Cherry Blossom tree planting with Mayor Kelly and princesses at Jefferson Memorial
 6 p.m. NCSS Banquet and Grand Ball at the Sheraton-Washington Hotel, Woodley Road and Connecticut Ave. N.W.. Ball starts with a Sushi Reception prepared by chefs flown in from Japan. Honorary Chair of the Ball is Susan Eisenhower. M.C.s for Grand Ball will be WRC-TV Channel 4 news anchor Pat Lawson-Muse and PBS host of Asia Now and former NBC Today Show co-host Jim Hartz. About 1,200 guests are expected including 200 from Japan.
 Dinner at 7:15 p.m. with program at 8:15 p.m. and dancing at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are $75 each and may be purchased through NCSS by calling TicketMaster at 202-432-7328. A benefit for Children's Hospital. Event is black tie formal or formal kimono for Japanese. Military Color Guard will be present. Japanese Ambassador Takakazu Kuriyama and Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly will crown the 1993 Queen.
 Saturday, April 3
 9 a.m. Second Cherry Blossom Festival Regatta and The George Washington University Invitational Classic starts at Washington Harbor. Sponsored by the George Washington University Rowing Team and NCBF. Contact: Hiro Ono at 703-243-8749.
 9 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, April 4: 27th Cherry Blossom Invitational Rugby Tournament at National Mall and Lincoln Memorial Grounds and West Potomac Park field. Contact is Kurt Mockenhaupt at 703-548-1642.
 Noon until 3 p.m. (Jaycees Event) National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade runs west on Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th streets N.W. Parade will be broadcast exclusively by WRC-TV Channel 4. Free event for standing room, all details on tickets for grandstands should be referred to the Washington, D.C. Downtown Jaycees at 202-726-1137. Cherry Blossom Princesses will ride in parade.
 Noon until 6 p.m.: Matsuri: Festival of Japan at Freedom Plaza,


15th and Pennsylvania Avenues N.W. Admission is FREE. Music, dancing, food, entertainment. For more information contact the Japan-America Society of Washington at 202-289-8290.
 -0- 3/22/93
 /CONTACT: Gigi Hazen of the National Conference of State Societies, 202-289-0300/


CO: National Conference of State Societies ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:

DC -- DC023X -- 8389 03/22/93 17:11 EST
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