ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Four newcomers have come onboard to sponsor some of this year’s Carnival queen contestants.
This was revealed at the “Sizzling Six” Carnival queen contestants Sponsorship Cocktail at Halcyon Cove Resort on Sunday night.
Amongst the first-time sponsors is MYST Mas’ Troupe, which will be supporting delegate number six, Andrena Athill.
In keeping with their “trend-setter” reputation, MYST chairman Marlon Rawlins told OBSERVER Media that their decision to become a sponsor for this year’s competition was influenced by the desire to continue to break barriers and to demonstrate to the public and fellow Mas’ camps that there is more to them than creating beautiful costumes.
Rawlins wanted persons to know that being a part of Carnival also means being involved in other areas outside of the traditional roles.
He hopes that by becoming a sponsor to this year’s event, other Mas’ camps will be bold and step forward to become sponsors next year.
Also making its first appearance as a sponsor to the queens’ competition is Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank (ECAB). They will be sponsoring delegate number three, Alana Michael.
Senior Manager of Banking Services Sonya Carter was very impressed by this year’s selection of young ladies, and particularly Michael. She was especially captivated by Michael’s eloquence.
Calvin Francis of Chef 2 U Events Ltd, another newcomer to the queen sponsorship arena, will be throwing his support behind contestant number two, Ranee Laronde.
Francis said he is very happy to receive his delegate of choice, especially since his previous attempts to become a sponsor were unsuccessful.
Francis told OBSERVER Media that he is looking forward to witnessing the creativity that will be showcased by each contestant this year.
Francis has been involved in the nation’s summer festival for three years as a sponsor of Children’s Carnival, providing snacks to the participants of the event.
A well-rounded delegate was the criteria to be met for Petra Williams of Education for Advancement (EFA) to sponsor one of this year’s Carnival queens. She found exactly what she was looking for in delegate number four, Daveile Payne-Abbott.
“We earn a living from the community so it’s important to give back … if businesses would look at it this way, not only for Carnival, it would make Antigua a better place,” Williams said as she explained her reasons for wanting to become a sponsor to this year’s event.
For Barry Knight of Ideal Autos, the criteria were similar. Knight mentioned that he was looking for someone who was not only beautiful, but possessed intelligence as well as personality – all of which he found in delegate number five, Kimberly King.
Knight said it is Ideal Autos’ first time being involved in Carnival and a sponsor to the Queen of Carnival Competition.
A crowning moment to evening’s affair came from delegate number one Tenisha Sebastian who was sashed by her bite-sized sponsor Ayoushe Morrad who the store, Ayoushe, is named after.
Morrad excitingly told the crowd that her delegate will be taking the crown this year.
For the past few years, queen sponsors have been hard to come by. In 2010, the CDC ended up sponsoring six of the seven candidates. Last year, no sponsor names were given to the six contestants.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)