The 65th Chrysanthemum Festival, a Maui Japanese tradition that raises funds for scholarships and the historical preservation programs of its sponsor, Maui’s Sons and Daughters of the Nisei Veterans, will be held Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku. Teens from five Maui high schools are vying for the Chrysanthemum Festival crown.

Exhibits and entertainment will begin at 4:30 p.m., dinner is at 6 and the program starts at 7. Admission to the festival is free — tickets for the dinner are $15 each.

The contestant who raises the most money through ticket sales will be crowned the festival queen. This year’s contestants are:

  • Kristi Echiverri, 17, of Kahului, a senior at Maui High School and the daughter of Laura and Lucky Echiverri.
  • Sokha Furumoto, 16, of Ha‘ikü, junior at St. Anthony Junior-Senior High School and the daughter of Laurie and Wesley Furumoto.
  • Paige Maki Nagahama, 17, of Wailuku, a senior at Seabury Hall and the daughter of Paula Diep and Hank Rapoza.
  • Jaelynn Nobriga, 17, of Kahului, a senior at Kamehameha Schools Maui and the daughter of James “Jay” Nobriga and Wendy Nobriga.
  • Makaylen Tadeo, 16, a junior at King Kekaulike High School and the daughter of Bobbie-Jo Moniz-Tadeo and Ricardo Tadeo Jr.

For ticket or event information, or to contribute to a contestant’s efforts, call Leonard Oka at 249-2163 or 385-7670. Oka is the president of Maui’s Sons and Daughters of the Nisei Veterans. He is co-chairing the event with Gary Nakama, a past president of the group. Proceeds will support the Sons and Daughters’ historical preservation projects, which are done for the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, and annual scholarships.


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