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HomeNewsLocal newsSeven Shine Bright: St. Thomas Crowns Its 2024 Carnival Princesses

Seven Shine Bright: St. Thomas Crowns Its 2024 Carnival Princesses

This year’s contestants dazzled the audience Saturday night. (Source photo by Ananta Pancham)

As the curtain rose on the 2024 St. Thomas Carnival Saturday, seven young women vying for crowns in a show that stretched past five hours, dazzled the audience packed into the Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center with their elaborate costumes, vibrant energy, and a deep connection to local culture.

The theme for this year’s festivities, “Join Us On A Cultural Tour Like Never Before,” was evident from the start. From a life-sized carousel depicting iconic Carnival scenes to a playful recreation of the WTJX Channel 12 parade commentary booth, the stage was a canvas for the princess’ creativity.

Petite Princess Keemayah Ford (Photo courtesy the Department of Tourism)

Three contestants emerged victorious, each a testament to the dedication and talent of the young women who compete for Carnival royalty, according to the judges. Petite Princess Keemayah Ford, Carnival Princess Jazmine Samuel, and Junior Miss Ne’Keya Fraser will wear their crowns with pride throughout the month-long celebration.

Nahkiya Jeffers also joined Ford in vying for the title of Petite Princess, while Kaysiah Charleswell of Joseph Gomez Elementary School and Amiah Motta of Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School joined Samuel in contention for the Princess title. D’Nae Todman, 15, also vied for the Junior Miss crown.

St. Thomas Carnival Princess Jazmine Samuel (Photo courtesy the Department of Tourism)

The competition itself was a whirlwind of vibrant costumes and diverse themes. Petite contestants sparkled in segments showcasing Carnival, Barbie, and island dolls, while Princess hopefuls strutted in their favorite candy-inspired creations and original madras designs. The Junior Miss competitors captivated the audience with professional wear, including a stunning madras couture suit, before transitioning to breathtaking evening gowns with dramatic reveals.

Touching tributes were woven throughout the evening. Contestants honored their families and cultural icons, while former Carnival Princesses Toi Barbel and LaStarr Watley led the opening prayer, and grilled the princesses with thought-provoking questions during the Q&A segment, respectively.

Junior Miss Ne’Keya Fraser (Photo courtesy the Department of Tourism)

Meanwhile, a range of entertainment kept the energy high throughout the night. The crowd was treated to performances by the Karnage Band, UVI Buccaneer Twirlettes, solo twirler Kaylee Breedy, and dance groups like Heliopolis Dance Group and Elite Dynasty Dance Performance Group, whose routine served as a heartfelt tribute to former member, 9-year-old Ja’Qeada Isaac.

With no prince contestant emerging this year, reigning Carnival Prince Kristin Isaac Ward continues his reign, adding another layer of excitement to the upcoming season.


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