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The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council proudly presents...


2015 Blackstone Valley

Running Festival

April 26, 2015

Half marathon and 5 K races with partial proceeds supporting the maintenance of cherry trees along Roosevelt Ave.

Register and more info

View 2014 and other Cherry Blossom photos on Flickr.

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SSRI and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council Announces 2015 Cherry Blossom Princess

The State Society of Rhode Island and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council are excited to announce that Alexandra Curtis has been selected as the 2015 Rhode Island Cherry Blossom Princess. A Rhode Island native of East Greenwich, Alexandra will represent the Ocean State in our nation’s capital from April 5-12, 2015 for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. In May, Alexandra will participate in the Rhode Island Cherry Blossom Festival.

“The culture, spirit, and traditions of Rhode Island make it a truly remarkable place to live,” said Alexandra. “I am honored to represent Rhode Island at the National Cherry Blossom Festival and I am looking forward to spending the week with other aspiring leaders.”

While in Washington, D.C., Alexandra will join young women from all over the country for a week in April to partake in educational, leadership, and cultural activities as part of the National Conference of State Societies’ National Cherry Blossom Princess Program. In addition, the princesses will meet with women leaders in the government and business sectors. One princess will be chosen at random to become the U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen, and will be invited to travel to Japan to on a cultural exchange trip and have the opportunity to meet with Japanese leaders. The 2014 U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen met with the Japanese Prime Minister, Speaker of the House, Members of the Diet, cabinet officials, and governors.

“We couldn’t be happier that Alexandra will represent our great state of Rhode Island while taking part in the many opportunities the Cherry Blossom Princess Program provides,” said Chris Simeone, Chairman of the State Society of Rhode Island. “Her past roles as a leader in civic and volunteer programs, along with her excellent academic background, made her the clear choice to represent our great state. We look forward to her trip.”

Alexandra recently graduated from Syracuse University in May 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Political Science and was a member of the Renee Crown University Honors Program. While at Syracuse, she served as the Student Association President in 2013 where she was the student representative to the Board of Trustees, and founded the first women’s leadership week on campus.
After graduating college, Alexandra completed a fellowship through Running Start, an organization that promotes women in politics. Through her fellowship, Alexandra interned for U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).

With true Rhode Island pride, Alexandra competed in Miss Rhode Island 2014 and was first runner up. Through the Miss America Organization, Alexandra raised funds for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and traveled throughout the Northeast promoting her platform “Leading Ladies: Equipping Young Women With the Skills to Lead.” Alexandra was selected as Miss East Greenwich in 2014, and recently announced as Miss West Warwick 2015.

“The focus of the work I have done has been on women's leadership and empowerment, so the princess program is a natural fit for me,” stated Alexandra.

"The Rhode Island Cherry Blossom Princess program is important to our state," said Robert Billington, President of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council. "It allows young women the chance to learn about our nation, the Japanese culture, and meet young women from around the United States, all interested in a robust cultural exchange.”

CONTACT: State Society of Rhode Island
(401) 243-7406, RIStateSociety@gmail.com
About the State Society of Rhode Island

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 who live in the Nation’s Capital, as well as preserve the history and traditions of Rhode Island.

The Cherry Trees of the Blackstone is a joint initiative of The Pawtucket Foundation and Blackstone Valley Tourism Council to work with the Cities of Pawtucket and Central Falls to plant cherry trees along Roosevelt Avenue in the two communities and raise money for a dedicated Landscape Improvement Fund. In the spring of 2009, 65 rancho cherry trees were purchased and planted in the project area.  The plantings have also inspired the hosting of the Annual Rhode Island Cherry Blossom Festival and an annual Earth Day clean up. In its first year the Rhode Island Cherry Blossom Festival built a strong foundation for future celebrations of the Cherry Trees planted along Roosevelt Avenue in Central Falls and Pawtucket.  More than 400 people came out to run, walk, eat and celebrate during the inaugural 2010 event and an additional 20 trees were planted on the west side of Roosevelt Avenue.  In 2011, more than 1800 runners participated in the various races held during the event. More

Cherry Trees Have Bloomed

View Photos


Pins for Sale

RI Cherry Blossom Festival pins are available for sale.  Prices are as follows:

  • 12 pins $5.00 each
  • 48 pins $4.75 each
  • 100 pins $4.50 each
  • 200 pins $4.25 each
  • 250 pins $4.00 each

All credit card accepted. To order or if you would like to purchase in higher quantities please call for a price, please call 401-724-2200 or email us.

Leave a lasting memory and support the Cherry Trees of the Blackstone

Commemorative bricks to raise funds for Cherry Trees are
available for purchase.

A cherry tree memorial project has been created to allow patrons to donate money in exchange for named recognition on a brick paver to be installed in the project area. Bricks start at $100 and may be ordered online through the Bricks 'R Us website or by calling the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council at 401-724-2200. More

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