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Aug 29, 2003

Queen of the Bay pageant this weekend

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For many of us, the September Celebrations don’t start with official ceremonies; they start with the Queen of the Bay pageant… and tomorrow is the big night. News 5 caught up with this year’s contestants and found them practicing more than the customary curtsy.

Shari Williams, Assistant, Queen of the Bay

“You should expect a wonderful show, because this year we have changed a couple things to make the show even better. So it’s none like you have ever seen in the past, so I’m telling you, you have to come and experience it for yourself.”

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

These seven young ladies will be vying for the title of Queen of The Bay. It will be the fifty-seventh time that the event will be held, but that does not make the competition any easier for these first-timers. But they have the encouragement of family and friends.

Jeana Roberson, Miss Cayo

“This has been like a wish from my mom, because I’m pretty much a tomboy. And she said one day she would like to see me in heels and a shirt, so she signed me up for this.”

Jacqueline Woods

“So you’re just here to please your mom?”

Jeana Roberson

“Yeah. But now that I’m here I’m glad I came.”

Ernestine Carballo, Miss Lake I

“I was encouraged by Miss Emma Boiton. And my mother told me, girl I believe in you so go and take another try, go at it. I was kind of you know… but I said, okay then. But I believe in myself too, so I said okay, I’ll give it a try.”

Nehanda Higinio, Miss Port Loyola

“This is my very first time in a pageant. I don’t usually do things like this because I’m a feminists and I’m like my mom. But it’s a great change and it’s actually very empowering. It’s not just about beauty and looking good all the time, it’s also about being a positive role model for young women.”

Shamae McKenzie, Miss Toledo

“My parents encouraged me and my friends. I was Miss Toledo 2002-2003, and so I decided to come for the Queen of the Bay Pageant.”

The young women have been involved in a week of activities to prepare them for the stage. The contestants say the experience has been good, but that is not all.

Shajira Sajia, Miss Corozal

“On Monday we went Cayo, we went to see the Prime Minister and the Governor General.”

Jacqueline Woods

“What was that like?”

Shajira Sajia

“It was fun. First time I had the Prime Minister right in front of me, so it was fun.”

Rita Martinez, Miss Freetown

“I still can’t do the curtsy that well. My hand is too stiff, my fingers, so probably tonight and tomorrow we have some more practice.”

Jacqueline Woods

“I think that’s the most difficult part of this pageant.”

Rita Martinez

“Yeah it is. If I’m doing it, oh, you’re too stiff, so I have to be a little loose, so I’m trying my best right here. Just now I was stiff, you see by my fingers.”

Jacqueline Woods

“It’s easier going down than coming up back.”

Rita Martinez


Annica Thurton, Miss Albert

“The Queen of the Bay to me is a pageant that empowers young ladies, and at the same time it’s a very historic event in Belize. So that made me think that all the other pageants that I went in already…I heard of Queen of the Bay when I was in primary school and we really enjoyed it, we were mocking the bigger one and I always said to myself, when I get of age to be in the Queen of the Bay, I am going to be in that pageant.”

Shari Williams

“You know it’s strange, because this year they all came and we just had to go through it about one time and they all got it. It wasn’t like in the past years that you have to be coaching them and coaching them. I think they are just queens by themselves.”

Besides the usual items on the night of the pageant, organizers say this year they have introduced a couple of new segments to the show. But we’re not going to give away the surprise, so you’ll have to be there to see for yourself. Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

The Queen of the Bay Pageant gets underway at the Belize City Centre this Saturday at seven p.m.. Following the pageant there will be a dance at the Ex?Services League on the Barracks.

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