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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, June 15, 2024


June 24, 2001 – Dance, song, poetry, prose and prayer all played a part in Saturday night's St. John Festival Queen Show at the Winston Wells Ball Field. But nothing overshadowed the smiles of the three contestants vying for the title of Miss St. John.
After nearly three hours, Catikawa Richardson, a junior at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, captured the crown and the right to rule over the 47th annual festival.
Richardson competed against Jennifer Dalmida, a 2001 graduate of Sts. Peter and
Paul High School, and Lisa Powell, a member of the Eudora Kean Class of 2001, in swim wear, international costume, talent, evening wear and question-and-answer segments.
Richardson made a strong impression with her initial presentation, enthusiastically telling the audience, "If you stand still, you will remain at that point forever."
The evening opened with an a capella rendition of "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" and the "Virgin Islands March" by Suzette Kelly, Miss St. John 2000; music by the Starlites band; and a unity dance by Kelly and the 2001 queen contestants.
The international presentation was an early pleaser to the audience of more than 500. Richardson, attired in an elaborate Indonesian costume of red and gold, performed a traditional Indonesian spiritual dance. Dalmida, dressed in Danish peasant clothing, pranced about the stage. Powell chose an exotic gold and turquoise ensemble from Peru, complete with synthetic braids which fell below her knees.
In the talent segment, Dalmida embraced the theme of "many cultures dancing to the same rhythms" with drumming and steelpan playing. Powell staged a complex story of salvaging Virgin Islands carnivals by remaining true to the island heritage. Her presentation, with a gigantic golden lamp as a backdrop and what appeared to be a free-floating genie, concluded with strobe lighting accompanying her carnival jump-up dance. With the theme "curing the ailment through the empowerment of youth," Richardson, in ballet slippers and fuchsia colored chiffon, performed an inspirational dance to music and voice-over.
For evening gowns, Dalmida appeared in silk green organza, Powell wore canary yellow silk studded with 5,000 princess-cut bugle beads, and Richardson, carrying a single rose, was the lady in a red with her one-shouldered valentine-hued dress.
During the question-and-answer segment, all three contestants were asked the same question, each while the others were sequestered in a "soundproof jeep" behind the stage. Responding to what positive changes they'd like to see in the islands' schools during the next five years, all three expressed the hope for more computers in classrooms.
Dalmida also said she'd opt for cultural education. Powell suggested more science laboratories, vocational classes and intern programs for mentoring. Richardson brought up teacher salaries. "We should pay teachers their money," she stressed, adding, "Education is the key to success."
The Miss Congeniality, Miss Popularity, Miss Intellect and Miss Talent awards went to Powell, who was adorned with a sash for each title. Dalmida received the Miss Photogenic title, while Richardson was named Miss Evening Wear, as well as Miss St. John.
Also making an appearance on the stage were the three contestants for the Mr. Emancipation competition, which has been rescheduled from June 28 to July 3. Click here for the full St. John Festival schedule.

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