Twenty-year-old Elsa Peterson was crowned Saba’s Carnival Queen for 2014 winning Thursday’s Single Mother’s Pageant at Princess Juliana Sports Field in The Bottom. This reports The Daily Herald. Peterson, a criminal law student attending The Hague University in the Netherlands, won the best talent, business, culture, and evening wear segments to outscore first runner-up Sislene Matthew and don the first-place sash. “It was a very good experience for me,” said Peterson, who has previously won Miss Carnival at age 10, Little Miss Saba at 13 and Miss Barbie at age 14. “I have been an entrant since I was a little girl. This time was special because usually you are competing against people around the same age, but this time I was with women that had even more experience than me. It was a different experience for me, but this one was the best.”
Peterson was awarded a cash prize of US $1,500, a new laptop courtesy of Satel, a free stay at Summit Resort Hotel on St. Maarten and other prizes. Cash prizes and other gifts were also given to Matthew, a registered nurse, second runner-up Miranda Simmons, a teacher and business woman, and third runner-up Sonya Cornet, who is a professional housekeeper.
“(The pageant) went great,” said lead organizer Edsel Lake of Saba Cultural Foundation. “All of our hard work was not in vain. The crowd was pleased. The girls were pleased. I was pleased. It was a complete success. I want to thank the girls for putting themselves into the pageant and being brave enough to go out on stage and be willing to display their talents.” Speaking about the winner, Lake said Peterson was being herself. “She was her natural self. She came out to have fun and enjoy herself, and that’s exactly what she did.” Lake thanked the show’s principal sponsors and commended the work of the judges’ panel, consisting of Alida Francis, Pamela Meijvogel, Vincent Stroom, Alberto Brooks and reigning Miss St. Maarten Bria Sorton.
This year’s pageant was well-attended compared to recent years. Master of Ceremonies Ricky Fox and reigning senior carnival queen Jalen Robinson, junior carnival queen Natalia Peterson and Sorton all helped the show run smoothly. “In recent years the turnout has been a little smaller but I think the anticipation of what this show would look like drew a lot of people,” Lake said. “I think the professional way in which it was produced made it all the more successful.” “The only hiccup may have been the late start, but once it kicked off, everyone was behind them to make sure it kept going. The show was organized and flowed very smoothly. I tried to maintain that consistency. They only had two minutes between each segment. We tried to make sure it was no longer than that. We wanted to get right in and right out.”