As the journey towards crowning the 2016 Miss Jamaica Festival Queen begins, the competition will host coronations at the parish level throughout the month of May. A signature programme of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen parish coronations will see intelligent, culturally-aware, poised and empowered women who are seeking a platform to make their contributions to nation building, compete to represent their parish at the national coronation in August.
The parish coronations kick off with St. Mary, which will host its show on Saturday, May 7 at the St. Mary’s Anglican Church Hall in Port Maria, beginning at 8: 00 pm. Trelawny is next, hosting its coronation on Sunday, May 8, at the Historic Falmouth Cruise Port, beginning at 8:00 pm. While on the following weekend, St. Elizabeth will crown its queen on Saturday, May 14 at the Alpart Sports Club in Nain, beginning at 8: 00 pm.
Saturday, May 21will see coronations in Portland, Kingston and St. Andrew and Hanover at the Port Antonio High School in Port Antonio, The Louise Bennett Garden Theatre at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre and the Jockey Factory in Lucea respectively, all beginning at 8:00 pm. While Sunday, May 22, St. Ann will choose its queen at the Shaw Park Beach Hotel and Spa in Ocho Rios beginning at 8:00 pm and in St. Catherine at the Spanish Town Primary School Auditorium, beginning at 7:00 pm.
Saturday, May 28 will be the Clarendon, Westmoreland and St. Thomas coronations at the St. Gabriel Anglican Church Hall in May Pen, the Sean Lavery Faith Hall in Savanna-La-Mar and Colonel Cove in Morant Bay respectively, all beginning at 8:00 pm. While Sunday, May 29, there will be coronations in St. James at the Iberostar Hotel in Lilliput, beginning at 7:00 pm, and in Manchester at the Cecil Charlton Hall in Mandeville, also beginning at 7:00 pm.
According to Director of Marketing & Public Relations at the JCDC, Stephen Davidson, “The coronations are just the first step on the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Journey. We hope that patrons will be out in their numbers to cheer on the well-rounded young woman who will later represent their parish at the national coronation.”
Davidson also noted that the festival queen programme, which focuses on leadership, appreciation of the role of women, creative talent and culture and community involvement, has produced some outstanding queens who have continued to make a significant contribution to building ‘Brand Jamaica’ beyond their reign. Some of the past queens include Dr. Marsh Barnett, Jennifer ‘Jenny-Jenny’ Small, Jacinth Hall-Tracey, Dahlia Harris, Krystal Tomlinson and Kaysia Johnson.
In addition to taking home the prestigious title of Parish Queen and chance to represent their parish at the national coronation during the Emancipation and Independence Celebrations in August, these capable young ladies are also stand the chance to win over a million dollars in cash and prizes from sponsors CHASE Fund, Tourism Enhancement Fund, Lasco Financial Services, Singer Jamaica, Confidence, Jergens, Biore, Excelsior, Spring Time, Happy Ice, Christar Villas, Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation, Happy Ice, This Is Really Great Yogurt and Lifespan Spring Water.