Dec. 22, 2003 – Personifying this year's Crucian Festival theme of "Glitz, Glamour Music and More!", Rennisha Wickham captured the title of Miss St. Croix Festival Queen 2003-04 in a stiff competition among a field of five candidates.
The crowd favorite, Wickham also was named Miss Intellect and was judged to have the best cultural costume. The 16-year-old Central High School senior was practically bursting with excitement as she received her crown from outgoing Queen Alexandria Evans.
Halima Roebuck was named first runner up. Pearl Ramsundar was second runner up and was judged to have the best festival costume. Also competing were Kareema Gaskin, who won the Miss Photogenic award, and Ntaba John.
The contestants strutted their stuff and showed their best to a capacity crowd Sunday night at Paul E. Joseph Stadium, the venue for most of this year's festival events. The contestants were judged in six categories — festival costume, interview, swimwear, cultural wear, evening wear and question wear.
Sharing master of ceremonies duties were radio personality Arthur A. Joseph and the reigning queen, Evans.
Ramsundar wowed the crowd with her winning festival costume titled "Metamorphosis." She arrived onstage wrapped in a "cocoon" which was uncovered to reveal a beautiful golden butterfly. The costume was at least 8 feet tall with massive golden wings, and the headpiece represented the multifaceted glittering eyes of the butterfly complete with waving antennae.
Roebuck's cultural costume, a gown of white and blue, transported the audience to the days of old where elaborate parties were held at the St. George Village Botanical Garden.
John's festival costume represented the importance of music to festival. She portrayed the master conductor as her costume depicted steelpan, keyboard and percussion in a fusion of feathers, glitter and gold lamé.
In their interviews, some contestants were asked about their aspirations. Gaskin said she plans to study fashion design and become an entrepreneur. Ramsundar, a UVI student, said she plans to make her mark in the fields of chemical engineering and public relations.
Roebuck said she dreams of setting fashion trends on the international market.
Wickham, asked how she overcomes challenges, pointed to her family as her "backbone" to help overcome obstacles.
John was asked about her experience as a student at UVI. "I learned responsibility," she said.
Along with her crown and scepter, Wickham walked away with $3,000 in cash, a 27-inch color television set, a $200 gift certificate, a modeling contract and many other prizes.
The pageant showcased a lot of local talent. The Education Complex Choir, resplendent in African-inspired attire, sang several holiday selections. The Music in Motion Dancers displayed their range of diverse dancing styles, moving in synchronized harmony to holiday steelband sounds and in graceful balletic interpretations.
The Xtaushun Band, a newcomer to the local music scene but already making a huge impact, had the audience swaying and moving to its powerful beat and rhythmic vocals.
Miss St. Croix will reign over the remaining festival events. For a rundown of what they are, see the "Crucian Christmas Festival 2004 events guide".) For more information, call 690-1741.
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