It had rained most of Sunday on the west end of St. Croix, but the sun broke through in the afternoon in the courtyard of the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts on Strand Street in Frederiksted in time for the Miss St. Croix contestants to introduce themselves.
The contestants of the 67th annual pageant of the Crucian Christmas Festival took to the stage to strut their stuff and display their talents.
The three Miss St. Croix Festival Queen contestants are:
– Allayeah John-Baptiste, 23,
– Izhani Rosa, 19, and
– Tatyana Massiah, 23.
The three dazzled the crowd in a star-studded production staged by producer Jason Gardner, who is in his third year of directing the show. Joining the contestants on stage were St. Croix Festival Princess hopefuls and several ladies who captured the Miss St. Croix crown in past years.
Amid the fashions and runway escapades, and in front of a sold out crowd, the main goal of the presentation was to judge the contestants’ platform speeches. With the judges seated in the first row, the contestants brought energy and passion as they made their case for the cause they were espousing.
John-Baptiste tackled a subject that many may feel is taboo. Her theme is titled “Dark Skin – Bright Dreams. Teaching today’s youth to embrace their ebony while eliminating colorism behaviors.” Colorism refers to discrimination based on skin color. John-Baptiste, a gorgeous dark-skinned young woman recounted several instances in her life where she was treated differently because of her hue.
Rosa displayed empathy for those who voices are not heard in her speech titled “It’s Takes A Village: Mental Health Awareness Initiative.” Rosa strives to advocate for people with mental illness, vowing to one day provide needed services for those unable to help themselves.
Massiah confronted an issue affecting the millennial generation, addressing the topic, “Social Media: Looking Into A Toxic Mirror.” She cautioned about the trappings of social media that puts intense pressure on individuals to portray images that do not accurately reflect their real lives.
The final selection of the new festival queen will take place on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 6 p.m. at Island Center for the Performing Arts. Ticket prices and locations will be announced soon, according to organizers.