CRUZ BAY — Four stunning young women graced Winston Wells Ballpark Saturday evening, showcasing their talents, creativity and elegance while vying for the title of St. John Festival Queen.
After hours of competition, a panel of judges chose Lea Scott, a freshman at the University of the Virgin Islands, to represent St. John for the upcoming “Come Jingle and Unwind for Festival 2009.”
Scott also won trophies for Best Talent and Best International Wear.
Shari Alfred, a 17-year-old Ivanna Eudora Kean High School senior, was named Miss Photogenic, Miss Congeniality and Miss Intellect. Kerla Fessale, a 19-year-old senior at Gifft Hill School, won Most Cooperative and Best Evening wear. Fessale was also named first runner-up to the new queen.
The contestants competed in several different segments that allowed them to show off to their supporters and a jubilant crowd their poise and grace.
Chereena Didier’s international wear costume honored the history, culture and archeology of Mexico. The 18-year-old junior at Kean High wore a glittering replica of a Mayan pyramid around her body as her voice-over explained the Mesoamerican civilization that produced the ancient structure.
Fessale dazzled in a Zulu garb with a feathered headpiece that ran down the length of her spine and dropped to the her feet.
During the routine, she abandoned that elaborate costume for a simpler top and straw skirt that allowed her the freedom to dance to a powerful African drumbeat.
Scott seized the overall contest in the talent segment, employing ballet as a means of demonstrating her graceful movement and dance training.
The UVI freshman’s routine set her as a Cinderella ready to attend the V.I. Governor’s ball at the Battery on St. John.
She began her dance dressed in simple rags, but soon was spinning around the stage in a white leotard and tiara. At the tick of midnight, she darted away from the ball, jumped on a motor scooter and made her getaway.
The other three contestants incorporated monologues into their talent routines to address serious topics like crime, drugs and the pursuit of a college education.
The young women all went with drastically different styles of evening gowns.
Didier dressed in red from head to toe, her dress distinguished by layered ruffled pants. The dress featured strings of rhinestones embossed with gold streaming from her neckline down her back.
Fessale wore a gown in a color she said she liked to describe as royal Caribbean blue. Chiffon flowed down her back, and rhinestone earrings added to the luster. The dress invoked the tranquility of the Caribbean sea, Fessale told the crowd.
In the Question and Answer segment, each of the girl was asked to imagine how their friends would describe them.
“An achiever, a believer, a competitor,” said Alfred, adding “one that is always trying to get something accomplished.”
Tension mounted at the ballpark, with eager supporters waiting nearly half an hour after the competition ended to hear the result. It was only after one in the morning that the tally was completed and Scott was named the new St. John Festival Queen to an eruption of applause.