Miss Kingston and St. Andrew, Velonique Bowen, came out on top to become the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen for 2022. The highly anticipated Jamaica 60 Coronation took place at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Emancipation Day, Monday, August I, 2022. Sheri-Gaye Johnson, Miss Clarendon was awarded the first runner-up title, while Le Chone Redwood, Miss Westmoreland, won the title of second runner-up.
When asked how she felt about her recent victory, Bowen stated, “I am so honoured to be representing Jamaica in this capacity. I have always been an avid lover of culture and the opportunity to be Jamaica’s Festival Queen in our Diamond Jubilee year is just an amazing feeling – My happiness is immeasurable and I am so grateful.”
She further noted that “[T]he experience is something that I will keep with me for the rest of my life. My most memorable moment was our question and answer sessions when we were able to be really honest with each other, looked up a lot of content, and improved on our question and answer skills… that was the most precedent for me in terms of self-development and growth…”
Bowen, a 22-year-old journalist, Masters student and entrepreneur copped the Most Culturally Aware, Most Active in Community, Most Poised and Most Popular on Social Media sectional awards, while the first runner up, Sheri-Gaye Johnson, walked away with the awards for Most Congenial and Best Performance. Le Chone Redwood, the third runner up was awarded for the Best Gown.
The energetic personalities of all 13 Parish Queens coupled with the varied creative talent pieces and eloquent responses of the top 5 contestants in the interview segment completely captivated the audience from start to finish and had them frantically blowing vuvuzelas and giving roaring applauses each time the Parish Queens graced the stage.
The Top 5 contestants included: Sheri-Gaye Johnson, Le Chone Redwood, Deidre Wadsworth, Renae Thibaud and the winner, Velonique Bowen. The other outstanding 2022 Parish Queens who graced the stage on Monday night included Marieka Shaw, Miss Hanover, Khdrea Jones, Miss St. Catherine, Deidrie Wadsworth, Miss St. Thomas, Kimberly Hazel Todd, Miss St. Ann, Shavae Scale, Miss St. James, Renae Thibaud, Miss Portland, Gabrielle Cole, Miss St. Mary, Tramaine Campbell, Miss Trelawny, Shanice Walters, Miss Manchester, and Britney Ellison, Miss St. Elizabeth.
As the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen for the Diamond Jubilee, Bowen is the premier cultural ambassador for Jamaica for the upcoming year. She will use this platform to make contributions to nation-building, while being an outstanding role model for young women across the nation.
A signature programme of the JCDC, the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen competition focuses on leadership, appreciation of the role of women, cultural awareness, creative talent and community involvement. The programme has provided opportunities for outstanding young women to leave their mark on not only Jamaica’s culture but all spheres of our nation’s development. Some of the past queens include Dr. Marsha Barnett, Jennifer ‘Jenny-Jenny’ Small, Jacinth Hall-Tracey and Dahlia Harris. This year’s competition was powered by the CHASE Fund, MultiLink, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, Excelsior, Lasco Financial Services, Jergens & Biore-(the official Skincare sponsor), StayFree/Playtex, KFC, the Jamaica Pegasus (the official residence of 2022 Parish Festival Queen 2022, and Stewarts Auto Group, (the official transportation providers for the 2022 Jamaica Festival Queen Competition).