The organisers of the 2016 National Carnival Queen Show are planning to stage “a show with a difference” for the annual August festival.
Seven young ladies have already been selected to take part in the event to be held at the National stadium at Queen’s Park as part of the carnival celebrations.
The local media got a chance to see the contestants during a Sashing Ceremony held last Friday at the office of Spicemas Corporation (SMC) at the GCNA complex on Kirani James Boulevard.
The seven young ladies – Samantha Francis (Miss St. George), Estlyn Blair (Miss Carriacou & Petite Martinique), Ruth Bailey (Miss St. David), Kerryne James (Miss St. John), Kahdijah Logie (Miss St. Patrick), Akada Lewis (Miss St. Mark) and Makeba Roberts (Miss St. Andrew) – will all be vying for the coveted title of Carnival Queen 2016 and a chance to wear the Swarovski Crystal and stones decorated crown.
The contestants will be competing in the Swimsuit, Talent, Carnival Costume, Evening Wear and Question and Answer sections.
Minister of Culture, Senator Brenda Hood who spoke at the ceremony impressed upon the young ladies the need to give back to the communities that they represent.
“Whenever you are chosen to represent your parishes, you have a responsibility to give back even if you didn’t become the queen but I think you can be a role model, you can energise young people in your parishes, so you can develop projects to really augment what is happening in your parishes”, she told the contestants.
“…These days we talk a lot about environmental issues and you can link your environmental issues to everything because without a good environment, we can’t survive and there is a lot of funding available so if you tap into the right places I’m sure you can get support,” she said.
Chairperson of the National Carnival Queen show Committee, Lexann Medford Fletcher gave assurances that patrons will be in for a treat and the winner will have a busy schedule ahead for her.
She said: “This year we really want the show to be one with a difference, (we) wanna leave a lasting impression of the production (for) this year and I am so happy that these seven young women of Grenada, Carriacou, Petite Martinique have decided to participate in the show. It’s a stepping stone for them, it’s not just about participating in the show, it’s about self development”.
According to Medford-Fletcher, it is the intention of her committee to ensure that the Carnival Queen gets exposure after the night of the show.
“It must continue, not just with regional pageants but with national events. For instance, Trade Shows – why can’t we see our Carnival Queen at Trade Shows, when the tourism team is traveling? It will be great to see her in other areas such as sporting activities”, she said.
“I can tell you this, our reigning National Carnival Queen is going to be pretty busy in the next couple of months…she’s already booked for three pageants and there’s going to be much more…whoever wins the competition this year is not going to be relaxing,” she added.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SMC, Kirk Seetahal told reporters that a different approach will be taken with the Question and Answer section for the Queen contestants in order to allow for greater fairness across the board.
Seetahal said the organisers have take a decision to put two questions on the night of the show to the contestants with one based on the biographies of the seven girls.
The other question, he added will not be submitted by the committee but will be given to the Master of Ceremony on the night of the show by the judges.
“They (the judges) will prepare that question. So no one will know the question beside the judges. There is going to be a sound proof booth on stage, so each girl is going to be judged fairly, just like it’s done at Miss Universe”, he said.
“The question is going to be a general knowledge question that each girl is supposed to be able to answer and we are going to see who answers it the best on the night to make sure that it’s fair across the board,” he added.
Seetahal explained that the question will be put together based on the theme of the competition.