Date set for Miss Antigua and Barbuda Pageant

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The 2018 Miss Antigua and Barbuda Pageant 2018 has been scheduled for Friday July 20, according to the chairperson of the pageant’s committee, Calvin Southwell.
However, he added that consideration is being given to staging the event on alternative dates, to include Sunday July 22. 
“From my experience, [Fridays] tend to be a little bit more hectic for patrons to come out to a show,” Southwell said yesterday. “But right now, the date that is on the calendar is July 20.”
This year, the Miss Antigua and Barbuda Pageant committee took the decision to introduce a new concept, which is, to select 20 contestants to enter the show. Southwell said that this was in an effort to entice more patrons to come out and support the show on the night in question.
“We needed something fresh; we needed something that would excite persons to come back to the ARG, where the pageant would be held,” the chairperson said. “From experience, I have had several attendances at pageants around the world and I know, for a fact, that one of the major draw is to give something that is creative, something that is different and something that causes excitement for the general public.”
The 20 contestants are: Taqiyyah Francis; Leisa Grant; Auriae Aaron; Sherys de la Santos; Cocher Josiah; Evita Benjamin; Ashley Boodhoo; Kia Kirwan; Jassana Fraser; Ashana Beaton; Titonyah Athill; Christina Mathurin; Joelina Prince; Juneilia James; Kennisha Pelle; L Anthonia Richards; Rudelle Morrison; Trina Clarke; Juelle Colaire; and a representative from Barbuda who will be named at a later date.
However, only 10 finalists will be selected to compete on the night of the event, Southwell said, while the other 10 would continue training and preparing for the 2019 Miss Antigua and Barbuda pageant. The rationale for this, he said, is that “in the long run, this would benefit us as we would have girls for the next two years; we would have girls prepared for the next year.”
The director said that he expects that people would buy in to the idea that this is something new and come out to show their support.
He dismissed suggestions that the pageant should be scrapped because it is “dead”, and promised that the 2018 Miss Antigua and Barbuda Pageant, which is being held under the theme “Celebrating the Modern Woman…Projecting to the Pinnacle of Beauty”, will be a “must-see” production.
Meanwhile, the chairperson said that the committee is looking into allowing the winner to be more visible as a tourism ambassador for the country.
 “What I insist, on the committee, is after a young lady is crowned, she should be utilised more within the tourism industry. She should have the opportunity to travel to one of the travel shows to sell Antigua and Barbuda.”
He added that he would also like to see the winner actively involved in speaking to students at various schools and championing a project or cause to help to build self-esteem among youth.

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