Shanice Walters and Khdrea Jones are the newly crowned Miss Manchester and Miss St. Catherine Festival Queens. The coronations mark the first set of 13 parish coronations for this year organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) and held under the theme, “Re-igniting the Power of the Jamaican Woman.” The events happened at the Belair High School Auditorium in Mandeville and the G. C Foster College Gymnasium in Spanish Town.
The Manchester coronation opened to a large turnout and saw Walters copping four of the six sectional prizes: Most Active in Community, Best Performance, Most Popular on Social Media, and Most Culturally Aware. Jones wowed the audience with her talented piece, a dub poem entitled “Come together”.
Miss Osheeka Buchanan was awarded first runner-up in the Miss St. Catherine Festival Queen Competition, while Miss Kavelle Bromfield placed third. In the cool hills of Mandeville, Miss Sabrina Johnson snatched the second place position, and Miss Sherith Murray placed third.
The Acting Executive Director of the JCDC, Mrs Marjorie Leyden-Kirton, stated that “The Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition, one of Jamaica’s Independence flagship programmes, seeks to cultivate the character, talent and confidence of all participants.”
She further noted that JCDC is pleased to see past contestants and queens making significant strides globally. “It was a delight to see some of the past queens showcased at the end of the programme, particularly Mrs Karlene Kelly-Reid, Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 1992, the first winner of the National crown for Manchester and celebrating as the mother of Dr Dominique Reid, the outgoing Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2021, who represented the parish of Manchester, thirty years later.”
The Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition is a staple of the annual Independence Festival celebrations. It seeks to find the 13 most culturally aware, talented and poised young women from across the island each year, giving them a chance to be crowned as a national cultural ambassador, inclusive of a platform for their efforts towards nation-building.