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Washington, D.C. - Wyoming may not be associated with royalty, but this spring the state will have a princess.

Trish Fritz of Basin has been chosen to be Wyoming's 2003 Cherry Blossom Princess. Fritz will represent Wyoming in the National Conference of State Societies' Annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. March 22 - April 7.

"Through this opportunity I hope to enhance my knowledge of the Japanese culture and the time-honored cherry blossom tradition and to share my experience with friends and fellow Wyomingites to increase and promote awareness of our nations' friendship," Fritz said.

The daughter of Bruce and Patricia Fritz of Basin, Fritz came to Washington, D.C. in Nov. of 2001 and is currently a staff assistant for U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

Fritz graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in international studies and Spanish. Following graduation Fritz began her career in government and economics by attending the 16th Academy of Economic Affairs sponsored by the Taiwanese government in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

A queen is chosen at random from all participating state society princesses. The queen spends a week in Japan as a United States delegate in various events celebrating the famous blossoms and the friendly relationship between the U.S. and Japan.

The Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates a gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington in 1912. The gift represented the growing friendship between the United States and Japan and the continued close relationship between the two nations has been celebrated each year since. This year's festival marks the 91st anniversary of the gift.

To learn more about the Cherry Blossom Festival please visit (http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org) and for more information on Wyoming's Cherry Blossom Princess visit (www.wyomingstatesociety.org).

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