Remarks on Meeting the Cherry Blossom Festival Princesses

April 2, 1984

Well, I'm delighted to welcome you all here. This is the 57th year of this event, and it's the oldest and largest event that is held annually here in the Capital. I'm very proud, and Nancy is very proud that she is the honorary chairman. And I'm glad to see you all. I've never seen the Rose Garden look lovelier. [Laughter]

You're a sure sign of spring; the arrival of the princesses here makes that positive. The festival symbolizes the spirit of friendship between the United States and Japan, as well as the beginning of spring.

And it gives me particular pleasure to welcome the 1983 Cherry Blossom Queen from Japan, Etsuko Kobayashi. And we have with us our own queen, Lynn Ridgley, and the 56 princesses chosen by the State societies and the territories.

And as I said, this is a longtime event here. You're, all of you, most welcome, and I can assure you that after the winter we've had, believe me, if you're bringing spring, you are welcome. [Laughter]

Now, I'm going to say some ``hellos,'' if I can.

Note: The President spoke at 11 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.