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HomeNewsLocal newsMajestik Freedom Estrada-Petersen Crowned St. Thomas Carnival Queen

Majestik Freedom Estrada-Petersen Crowned St. Thomas Carnival Queen

From left: second runner-up Iniyah Griffin, St. Thomas Ambassadorial Carnival Queen Majestik Freedom Estrada-Petersen and first runner-up Caricia Caesar. (Photo courtesy of the USVI Division of Festivals)

Majestik Freedom Estrada-Petersen, a student at the University of the Virgin Islands, stole the show at the St. Thomas Ambassadorial Queen Competition held Saturday night at the Eldrige Blake Sports and Fitness Center. Estrada-Petersen was crowned queen, and also took home the awards for Miss Intellect, Best Swimwear, People’s Choice and Queen’s Raffle, sponsored by Viya.

Estrada-Petersen’s platform focused on the power of human testimony, which she said aims to promote ecotourism, and support local businesses and the arts by highlighting Virgin Islands stories. Her ambassadorial presentation showcased the territory’s history, sights, sounds, and the vibrant spirit of its communities.

A self-proclaimed culture bearer, Estrada-Petersen emphasized the importance of “showing up for your community.” She shared her experiences engaging in historical tours, promoting Virgin Islands and African dance at a young age, and spreading the tradition of bamboula dancing.

“You have to know where you come from to know where you are going,” she stated during the question-and-answer segment, highlighting the importance of culturally relevant education in preparing students for the future.

“And even though we were stolen from the motherland, we have come and formed a new culture, incorporating dances, music, dialect and accents that are all part of who we are. We should be teaching this to our children and to our adults, because there were many people who were told that who they are, their dark skin and their thick curly natural hair is not good, not professional, not beautiful, and it is. Our children need to know who they used to be, who they were and who they came from so they can be comfortable going into the world and being themselves,” she said to thunderous applause from the crowd.

Caricia Caesar, a student at Charlotte Amalie High School and the reigning Miss CAHS 2023, secured first runner-up and the awards for Best Evening Wear, Talent and Best Ambassadorial Presentation.

Caesar, an honor roll student and lead drum major of the Mighty Chicken Hawks Marching Band, is passionate about music and centered her platform around advocating for the revitalization of music education within the school system.

During the ambassadorial presentation, all contestants donned V.I. madras in a variety of original designs, replete with pencil skirts, peplum tops and bright bowed belts. Caesar, in her presentation, graced the stage in a sheath dress – madras on top with a blue underlay – and brought her musical passion out by sharing more about top V.I .musicians, including the Grammy Award Winning Theron Thomas, and the ever-popular Pressure Busspipe, who won road march in 2021. Caesar also paid homage to The Ten Sleepless Knights and the territory’s national music, quelbe.

“United by the rhythm of our of hearts, and the melodies of our souls, the joy of music echoes throughout our beloved Virgin Islands,” she said.

Iniyah Griffin, an honor student and member of the Dynamite Rays Marching Band at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, was named second runner-up and took home the awards for Cultural and Historical Dress and Miss Congeniality.

Griffin, an aspiring photographer, captivated the audience with her Cultural and Historical costume, a segment was worth 100 points, including points for cultural and historical connection, costume presentation, creativity and presentation, and overall construction.
Griffin’s was a crowd favorite, with even the evening’s host saying, “it’s going to be worth it, trust me,” when asking the audience to be patient during a slight delay as the contestant put on her costume.

The crowd gasped as she glided on stage, dressed as the St. Thomas Public Library, later renamed in honor of Enid E. Baa. Griffin herself was wearing a glittering yellow dress, and was framed with the library constructed around her, replete with painted books on the inside and shutters on the outside, which she opened and closed with her arms. The library, according to her presentation, boasted the most beautiful balcony on Main Street, while Baa was one of the first four high school graduates in the Virgin Islands, and a trailblazer, appointed as the supervising librarian of the Virgin Islands by former Gov. Paul M. Pearson and the first person to hold a cabinet-level position in the territory.

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