Five of these lovely young ladies, above, will take to the stage on Saturday night, June 23, at Winston Wells ball field for the St. John Festival Queen Selection Show, starting at 8 p.m. Contestant #6, at far left, dropped out of the competition due to personal reasons. (L to R, excluding far left) Contestant #5 – Shanell Thomas, Contestants #2 – Clarissa Doyling, Contestant #4 – Khadijah Athanase, Contestant #3 – Shelsea Jean and Contestant #1 – Sheniqua Davis.
Get ready to for a night full of glamour and glitz when the St. John Festival Queen contestants take to the stage for the Queen Selection Show on Saturday night, June 23, at Winston Wells ball field starting at 8 p.m.
The night will feature music by Cool Session Brass Band, dancers and more as five beautiful young ladies will strut their stuff in swimwear, active wear, ball gowns and show off their model walks and talent.
Eighteen-year-old Sheniqua Davis, Contestant Number 1, graduated from GHS in 2011 and just completed her first year at the University of the Virgin Islands where she is pursuing a degree in accounting.
“I’ve loved math ever since the second grade,” she said.
Davis was inspired to join the competition in order to push herself, she explained.
“I wanted to get out of my comfort zone,” said Davis. “I am an athlete and played a lot of basketball, so I wanted to try something different.”
The best part of the experience for Davis has been getting to know her fellow contestants, she added.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Davis said. “The best part is learning new stuff and being around the other contestants.”
Davis has been working hard and practicing every day with her chaperones Ywardia Wesselhoff and Tasheda Kelch, she explained.
“I’m really excited for the show,” said contestant number one. “I’m trying not to get nervous.”
St. John Queen Contestant Number Two is Clarissa Doyling, a 17-year-old who just graduated from Ivanna Eudora Kean High School. Doyling plans to attend Florida State University in the fall where she will work towards a degree in meteorology.
“I have always been fascinated with weather ever since I was a little girl,” said Doyling. “I have always wanted to be a meteorologist and I’m excited to follow my dream.”
Doyling threw her hat in the St. John Festival Queen ring in order to inspire others, she explained.
“I joined the competition because I wanted to be a role model for other girls in my school and my community,” said Doyling.
Contestant number two had some advice for future Festival Queens dreaming of running for the title.
“Keep your head up and stay in school,” she said. “Respect yourself, because if you don’t, no one else will. And always be yourself.”
Working daily with chaperones Tamika Santos, Kevin Swanston and Christopher Rivera, Doyling is excited to take to the stage on June 23.
“I’m a little nervous, but more excited,” she said. “The best part of this whole experience has been learning the dances and getting to know the other girls.”
Recent Charlotte Amalie High School graduate Shelsea Jean is Contestant Number Three. The 18-year-old is looking forward to heading off to Clark Atlanta University where she plans to study early childhood education with a goal of opening a day care center one day.
Jean grew up watching Festival Princess and Festival Queen selection shows and dreamed of being on stage herself one day, she explained.
“I’ve been watching the shows for years and I’ve watched all the contestants and seen how confident they are,” said Jean. “I loved the gowns and the dances and thought, ‘I want to do that someday.’”
Jean is most looking forward to two segments of the Festival Queen Selection Show, she added.
“I’m excited for the International Wear segment and the Talent segment,” Jean said.
The best part about the experience of running for Festival Queen for Jean has been practicing with her chaperones Loren Abramson, Shatik Stevens and LeeAnn Oquendo, according to contestant number three.
“Through all of the hard work and all of the practice, you really learn a lot about yourself,” she said.
Khadijah Athanase, who just graduated from Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, is Contestant Number Four in the St. John Festival Queen Selection Show. Athanase is looking forward to attending Savannah State University in Georgia in the fall where she plans to study psychology.
“I want to be a social worker one day and come home here to help my community,” said Athanase.
Contestant number four has been enjoying dance practice, she added.
“The best part is the great exercise you get,” said Athanase. “It’s a lot of work running for queen, but it’s a lot of fun too. It all pays off in the end.”
Athanase had a few words of wisdom for future queen contestants.
“Go for it,” she said. “This experience will help you in the future.”
Athanase has been working hard with her chaperone Nya Edward Marsh, who is also her aunt.
Contestant Number Five is 21-year-old UVI student Shanell Thomas, who is studying to become a pediatric nurse.
“My mother is a surgical technician and I want to follow in her footsteps and have a career in medicine,” said Thomas.
A native Virgin Islander, Thomas moved to Atlanta with her family when she was young, but never forgot where she came from, she explained.
“I left here when I was young, but would come back every summer,” Thomas said. “I would go to the Queen and Princess shows every summer. This is part of my culture and I wanted to be a part of it.”
The best part of the experience of running for Festival Queen has been meeting the public, according to Thomas.
“It’s a lot of work, but the best part is when we go to public outings,” she said. “It’s fun to go out and meet new people.”
Thomas has been logging long hours of dance practice with chaperones Midalia Feliciano and Richie Welch, but wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, she explained.
“This has taught me to really step up my time management skills which has been a great lesson,” said Thomas.
Be sure to get those tickets for the St. John Festival Queen Selection Show on Sunday, June 23, at Winston Wells ball field. Tickets are available at Chelsea Drug Store on the second floor of
The Marketplace and at W&W Fast Food. See you there!