Last Saturday evening saw the sashing of eight of the nine gorgeous contestants vying for the Miss Earth Guyana crown at the Aracari Hotel and Resort. The event attracted a fairly large audience and included a gala and dinner.
The contestants sashed were: Merissa Garraway, Luann Pellew, Gabriella Chapman, Oriana Castello, Akisha Payne, Xamiera Kippins, Anita Baker and Anasa Williams. Prudence Lam, the ninth contestant, was unavoidably absent.
The event opened with the National Anthem which led into tassa drumming by the Dynamic Tassa Group.
Co-hosting the affair were Guyanese top model Yohlanda Kerr and Managing Executive Director of the pageant, Dr Omesh Balmacoon.
The Miss Earth Pageant, it was said, is diverse and takes much interest in the protecting the earth. In Guyana’s case, where it is known that the coast is below sea-level, the pageant is believed to be of great benefit as it shines the spotlight on climate change and protecting the environment. Just recently, the contestants and management of the pageant took up the project of planting mangroves to aid in the prevention of erosion.
The international Miss Earth Pageant is considered to be among the top three worldwide and has reached a point of popularity that over 100 countries are scheduled to take part this year. It was boasted that one of the main reasons is because it focuses primarily on raising awareness about the environment and planet through its ‘Beauty For A Cause’ project, which contributes 50 percent of a contestant’s score.
Prior to the sashing of the contestants, guests were treated to a buffet-style dinner while they viewed the remainder of the programme.
The audience was serenaded by Lashanna Brown singing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”, which gave way to the introducing of the contestants.
The first contestant to introduce herself was 22-year-old Bartician Gabriella Chapman, who represents the gemstone Sapphire. Gabriella is currently the reigning Miss Bartica Regatta having competed last year and won. Eighteen-year-old Anasa Williams was next representing the blood red gemstone Ruby. She hails from Berbice. Merissa Garraway, a customer service representative of Demerara Mutual Life came next, leading to Oriana Castello who hails from Hague, West Coast Demerara representing the Zircon gemstone. Twenty-four-year-old Luanna Pellew represented the gem Opal and loves writing and reading. Representing Diamond was 25-year-old Akisha Payne of Berbice, while Anita Baker represented Jade. The last contestant to introduce herself was 22-year-old Xamiera Kippins representing Emerald. She hails from Parfait Harmonie.
Xamiera’s presence created an upheaval since she had a number of supporters there. Xamiera contested the Black San ‘Bang-A-Lang’ Regional Swimsuit Pageant last year in St Kitts, where she won the crown and did a clean sweep winning all the categories as well. While Xamiera and Gabriella are the ones to watch out for as they have pageant experience, each contestant is just as determined to cop the coveted Miss Earth Guyana title and could just as easily achieve it. Currently they are all being trained by Meleesa Payne.
The remainder of the evening saw another rendition from Lashanna Brown, one from emcee Yohlanda, the Dynamic Tassa Group and a dance performance from New Generation Dance Studio. The contestants were sashed by Meleesa and later mingled with the audience while Tassa drumming filled the room.
National Franchise Director Dave Lalltoo shared with the audience that on January 1, having visited all the regions they arrived at 35 applicants from whom the nine contestants emerged.
Some of the preliminaries are scheduled to be held in Leguan, Bartica, Linden and Berbice. The Miss Earth Guyana Committee will continue to update the public on its Facebook page as the dates draw closer.
The Miss Earth Guyana crown is said to be arriving all the way from Austria. Apart from the queen, three other contestants will also have the opportunity to be chosen as Miss Fire, Miss Air and Miss Water; they will be the runners-up to the queen. They will all have equal rating and will work along with the queen on her ventures around Guyana.
Sponsors for the pageant are DemBake (Official Sponsor), Caribbean Wind and Sun, Precise Printing & Stationery Supplies, and Aracari Hotel and Resort.
The Miss Earth Guyana 2018 finalists will be visiting Leguan Island for a Grand Community Meet and Greet and Welcome Parade. They’ll be engaging in a beach cleanup tomorrow.
The coronation date and venue are still to be decided.