SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) is hard at work preparing for the local shows of Carnival 2022 and over the weekend announced the prizes and main approach for the Carnival Queen Pageants. All four of the SCDF’s pageants are on the schedule for Carnival 2022: The Junior, Teen, Senior and Mature Carnival Queen Pageants.
Vice President of the SCDF Paula Gordon, who is also the Pageant Coordinator, explained that in a typical Carnival year, the biggest challenge for pageant contestants is raising funds for pageant preparations.
“This is definitely not a typical year in terms of the economy and participation of the private sector. In this context we have made an effort to implement changes to the pageant segments to make the pageants more affordable for all contestants as we come off the heels of hurricane Irma and this pandemic as sponsorship might be challenging,” Gordon said.
She explained that the changes will be outlined once the registration process closes on December 1, but she did allude to the fact that contestants will not have to pay thousands for certain segments of the show. Contestants usually have to raise more than US $10,000 to fund pageant segments. “This will not be the case,” Gordon assured.
Gordon, a former Ms. Mature Carnival Queen is being assisted in the organizing of the pageants by Davinia Brooks, a former Miss St. Maarten Senior Carnival Queen.
In terms of prizes, the foundation announced the following:
Senior Queen: $5,000 & Material Prizes, 2nd runner-up: $3,000 & Material Prizes, 3rd runner-up: $2,000 & Material Prizes. Ms. Mature Queen $2,000 & Cruise for two & Material Prizes, 2nd runner-up: Trip for two & Material Prizes, 3rd runner-up: Material Prizes. Teen and Junior Pageants: Queens: $1,000 & Material Prizes, Runner-Ups: Material Prizes
Material Prizes could include: Payment of Utility Bills, school fees, grocery vouchers, smart phones, TV's, dinners, hotel stays, photo-shoots and other gifts.
“We want to make the pageants so much more than prizes and expensive segments,” Gordon said. “These are Carnival pageants, we want to focus on culture, creativity, confidence and fun. We want our contestants to realize that they will have platforms to do so much in their community. We will impress upon them that as a pageant Queen or runner-up, they can leverage their visibility, popularity and platform to work with other organizations and the business sector to serve the community. For us this is the lasting experience we want for pageant contestants. The glitz and glamour is nice, and the public will get a great show, but what you do as a solid and involved citizen with a title is much more important,” Gordon concluded.