Some of the pageant contestants – Photo The Daily Herald
PHILIPSBURG–St. Martin/St. Maarten delegate for the 24th annual Caraïbes Hibiscus Pageant Lisandre Niçoise (21) has pulled out of the pageant at the eleventh hour on the grounds that sufficient preparations are not being made for her.
Niçoise was set to take the stage to represent both sides of the island at the regional event. The St. James, Marigot, resident, who stands tall at 5 feet 7 inches and weighs 120 pounds, said on Thursday that there had been organisational and preparation issues. She said she had pulled out to take a stand for future delegates and to ensure that proper arrangements are made for their participation.
Niçoise said her goal was not to bash or embarrass the Caraïbes Hibiscus Organisation, but just to take a stand. She wished the delegates participating in the pageant much success in the competition and urged the public to go out and support them.
Niçoise said she had met the contestants and “they are all great girls.” A total of nine girls have arrived in the country already for the pageant, which will be held at Sonesta Maho’s Casino Royale on Saturday, December 6.
Already on the island are delegates from Bonaire, Colombia, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Haiti, Martinique, Mexico, Suriname and the United States. Contestants began to arrive on the island on December 1 and have started to visit several places in the run-up to the pageant.
They visited the Council of Ministers on Wednesday.
They visited the Dutch-side police station on Thursday, December 4, as well as Sports Gallery, Ultimate Jewelers and Lucky Cosmetics 2 where they were presented with gifts.
They will visit Park Avenue today, Friday, December 5, where they also will be presented with gifts. They will have lunch at Pineapple Pete, practise their choreography at Beach Plaza Hotel and have dinner at Bridge Café.
They will have a general rehearsal at Casino Royale before the pageant on Saturday, December 6.
In addition to the contestants appearing on stage in the various segments, patrons at the event will be entertained by guest performers Zouk Look, Jeremy Huot and Latin Afro Moove.
The winner will receive a US $5,000 prize, gifts from sponsors and a chance to travel to several destinations in the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America. The first runner-up will win a $1,000 cash prize and gifts, and the second runner-up will win a $500 cash prize and gifts from sponsors.
Masters of Ceremonies for the pageant will be Valerie Daijardin and entertainer and restaurateur Leroy “Beau Beau” Brooks.
Tickets cost $25 or 25 euros in advance and $30 or 30 euros at the door, and are available in St. Maarten at Van Dorp in Madame Estate and Simpson Bay, and in French St. Martin at L’Orangerie Boutique, La Maison de La Presse, Change Express and St. Martin’s Week. An after-party will be held at Tantra Nightclub. – The Daily Herald