Kalunian to represent state as Cherry Blossom Princess in Washington


Warwick resident and former Warwick Beacon reporter Kimberly Kalunian has been selected as Rhode Island’s Cherry Blossom Princess by the State Society of Rhode Island, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and the Rhode Island Cherry Blossom Committee. She will represent the Ocean State at the 2014 National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., this April. 

Kalunian, a native Rhode Islander, is a reporter and producer on Newstalk 630 WPRO, as well as a professional stage actress.  An active member of the community, she regularly volunteers for the East Greenwich Animal Protection League, including organizing their annual fundraiser called “Animal Prints,” and the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation.

“The State Society of Rhode Island is very excited to have Kimberly represent Rhode Island as the Ocean State’s Princess in the upcoming National Cherry Blossom Festival,” Chris Simeone, chairman of the State Society of Rhode Island said in a statement. “Her passion for the arts and love of giving back to the community are qualities that are very important to us, and epitomize what we look for in a Cherry Blossom Princess.”

Kalunian will join other Cherry Blossom Princesses from the other states for a week in our nation’s capital. She will represent Rhode Island attending congressional receptions, visit with international dignitaries, attend the Cherry Blossom Ball, engage in cultural and educational activities and participate in the national Cherry Blossom parade.

A formal crowning ceremony for the Cherry Blossom Princess is also in the works.

“I have truly developed my passions for news, the arts, animals and people. I feel that my achievements, my love for all things Rhode Island and my fun-loving, caring personality make me the ideal candidate to have the honor of serving as this year’s Rhode Island Cherry Blossom Princess,” Kalunian said in a release.

Kalunian will make her formal public debut at the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council’s Annual Cupid Ball, set for Valentine’s Day, Friday night, Feb. 14 from 6 p.m. to midnight, at the Center By The Blackstone (Visitor Center), 175 Main Street, Pawtucket. 

The Feb. 14 Cupid Ball is a semi-formal dress event and includes pink wine upon arrival, hors d’oeuvres, four-course meal station, and DJ entertainment from WRIK Entertainment.

The Cupid Ball is a pink tie affair to benefit the annual Rhode Island Cherry Blossom programs.

Cupid Ball tickets are $60/person and $100/couple and available right now by calling the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council at 724-2200, or make reservations at www.centerbytheblackstone.com.

The 2014 Rhode Island Cherry Blossom Festival is planned for the May 3-4 weekend (Rhode Island Independence Day weekend) in the historic Blackstone River Valley, which will be hosted by the Cherry Blossom Princess.

The State Society of Rhode Island (SSRI) is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization in Washington, D.C., serving as a “home away from home” for Rhode Islanders and friends of Rhode Island. It offers opportunities to engage and network in the nation’s capital through social, community service, cultural, and educational events. It is intended to promote fellowship, goodwill, and amicable relations among Rhode Islanders, as well as preserve the history and traditions of Rhode Island.

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