The Daily Herald reports today that single mothers will take centre stage at the annual Saba Carnival Queen Show at Carnival Village in The Bottom, Thursday at 8:00pm.
This year’s show featuring four local working mothers will take the form of a single mother’s pageant with the theme “Taking Care of Our Own.” “It is not an easy task to be a parent in general, more less a single parent,” said lead organizer and Saba Cultural Foundation Board Member Edsel Lake. “These ladies do it with grace. They handle their responsibilities and raise their children in the best way they know. I feel that is something that should be celebrated. Hence, the pageant was born to show appreciation for them doing all that they have.”
The pageant’s four contestants are Sislene Matthew, licensed nurse and mother of four, criminal law student
and mother of one, Elsa Peterson, housekeeper and mother of four, Sonya Cornet and educator and mother of four Miranda Simmons.
Judges will score the contestants in four separate elements of the programme including introductions, business roles, talent competition, cultural wear and a final question-and-answer session in evening wear. Awards will be given to the overall winner, in addition to first, second and third runners-up. Prizes will include cash awards, gift baskets, free hotel stays and electronics donated by Satel.
“So far, it’s been good in terms of the rehearsal process. They have been busy getting sponsorships for the various items they have to purchase. like evening wear and different articles of clothing,” said Lake. “We have also been busy with the rehearsals in dancing and certain choreography for the whole show. They’ve been busy going over their walking and their speaking to present themselves.
“When making their first appearance, they are required to give a three-and-a-half minute speech in which they formally introduce themselves. They will be judged on their creativity and their command of language, clarity and diction. There is also a performing piece to that.”
Also scheduled to perform on Thursday are artistes Guilda, PYE and DJ Outcast. St. Maarten’s The Messenger will be the special guest artiste. Local youth dancers Shekanah Abraham, Lysanne Charles, Natalia Peterson and Jalissa Hassell will perform, while pageant contestants change in between presentations.
Organizers commended local businesses and community members who have stepped up to support this year’s show. Other members of the business community were challenged to do the same.
“It has been very difficult to get sponsorships. We have so many companies on the island and a lot of them have not been willing to support the girls,” Lake said. “I must commend Satel for its contributions. They are our main sponsor for the pageant. They have sponsored the main prizes for the contestants. My Store and E&H Home Centre have also been great sponsors.” Lake said Pauline Gumbs created the sashes and Al Richardson the trophies. “Those individuals have been very helpful as well. Honestly, there should have been more. Carnival is
something that survives on donations.” Lake added that cultural traditions like the Queen Show can go a long way toward inspiring women of all ages to better their own lives and those of their children.
Rebuilding that tradition is a main goal of this year’s programme. “The pageants have fallen off in the last few years, where the young girls are not motivated to enter the pageant because they don’t feel it’s validating,” he said. “Beyond the makeup and the clothes and the lights and all that, what they don’t see is that these shows help to boost your confidence. It helps girls grow and find something in themselves. For young girls especially, those things can help in their development. Plus, it’s good exposure for yourself and for your island.”