The Pageant Of Pre-Nationalist Patriotism

The Queen of the Bay Pageant will be held tomorrow night at the Civic.  While other pageants might be all about beauty, this one has that historical element, where pre-natIonalist colonial loyalists figured you couldn’t really go wrong with mixing pretty girls and patriotic sentiment.

The tradition continues for the 73rd year tomorrow and we found out more during rehearsals at the Bliss:..

Shari Williams - Coordinator, Queen of the Bay
"For 73 years in an unbroken line the pageant has occurred. So there have been 72 past queens of the bay, this year we're selecting the 73rd."

Aaliyah Ysaguiree - Reigning Queen of the Bay
"I think they're all really great young ladies. The judges will have a hard time choosing who's going to be the next queen of the bay but I'd advise them to be humble, stay true to themselves. Queen of the bay is a pageant of elegance and being graceful and I think each and every one of them can be graceful in that manner."

Carolyn Jang - Stann Creek
"Actually queen of the bay has been a passion of mine from a child and this year I believe that I'm capable of taking up the challenge and I actually entered this pageant to show my love to my community and the entire country."

Jennylee Cruz - Belmopan
"I entered this pageant because it's a way to show my patriotic spirit and to represent not only Belmopan but also my beautiful country Belize."

Shanda Williams - Toledo
"Honestly the reason why I chose to join the queen of the bay was because growing up a little girl I used to always go and watch the pageant and the way how those girls carried themselves up there. I was like I should try and my friends was like Shanda you have the potential, go for girl and I did and I have won in Toledo and now I'm here and if I don't win - well I'm still a queen no matter what."

Neisha Bailey - Belize City
"Queen of the bay has been a dream of mine ever since I was little, I would look at the girls, they're so prestigious, they're so graceful and I admired that and mostly confidence. I'll be honest with you guys, I wasn't as confident as I was right now, so that built me, this pageant built me to be more confident and more honest to myself."

Shari Williams
"One of the biggest complaints we're been having over the years is that the pageant takes too long and so the committee was very adamant that we keep it short and sweet. So we're aiming for an hour and a half, we really cut down the amount of time spent on stage; we're aiming at an hour and half. So this year we can guarantee the public short, sweet, to the point."

And while organizer say they’re tightening this year’s program to 90 minutes - what will they do to make sure there’s not a replay of the fiasco that took place at last year’s crowning?  We all remember that moment when two queens were crowned - Orange Walk and Stann Creek.

We asked about that:…

"Last year we had a little bit of drama. Have you made changed to avoid that? Is Orange Walk and Cayo protesting because they are not being represented?"

Shari Williams
"Well the situation in Cayo is that they're having their district pageant on September 1st, which is the day after our national pageant - so naturally they can't have a representative here because it would been too late. In Orange Walk, we had several young ladies we were speaking with, the committee shared with us they would not be able to send a young lady this year because they weren't prepared to do so."

For tomorrow’s pageant, the organizers have 500 spaces for children ages 16 and under to see the pageant for free.

Channel 7