Big plans for MUJ pageant
Miss Universe Jamaica Daena Soares at the grand final of Miss Universe held in Israel last year.

Plans are currently being fine-tuned for this year’s staging of the Miss Universe Jamaica (MUJ) pageant.

According to co-franchise holders and national directors of the pageant, Karl Williams and Mark McDermoth, this year’s event is being ramped up in keeping with the celebrations of Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence.

They shared that this year’s event will be held over three days, from August 19 to 21, at the Corporate Area’s AC Hotel by Marriott, in a weekend dubbed the Jamaica 60 Miss Universe Jamaica Beauty and Wellness Pageant.

“It’s going to be a massive celebration. Given the significance of the period celebrating Jamaica 60. So everything we are doing will be heavily influenced by this, including our themes and production, the details of which we will share as time goes by,” McDermoth told the Jamaica Observer.

“But it will be a whole weekend dedicated to beauty, fashion, and wellness. We will start off on the Friday, August 19, with a fashion event featuring a number of local as well as international designers who will be working with us in terms of the Miss Universe Jamaica wardrobe. On the Saturday, we will then open the day with the expo. This will feature a wide range of booths, displays, hair shows, and demonstrations, product sampling, and health checks. This will end at 6:00 pm and the coronation show will begin at 8:00 pm. On the Sunday, we will be hosting a brunch with some specially invited guests. Will share the details on that later,” McDermoth continued.

The Miss Universe Jamaica organisers also shared that they will be continuing the push with their regional competitions as a means to encourage beauties from across the island to enter the pageant.

“For a number of years we have been pushing these regional pageants. We just want to encourage young ladies from across the island to enter. For many years, pageants in Jamaica felt like something only open to young ladies from Kingston. Our current queen, Daena Soares, hails from St Elizabeth, the breadbasket parish. She is a very beautiful young lady who is also intelligent and has been proving to be very inspirational to young ladies. Currently, we have regional competitions in the eastern, western, central, north-western, and north-eastern sections of the island. We will also reduce the number of contestants in the finals. We have been doing [this] over the past year or two for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it is no longer practical to have these large groups. I can’t say how many we will have this year,” said McDermoth.

Sponsorship is also a major issue for the organisers. But according to McDermoth, while cash sponsorship has proved a challenge in recent years, and more so during the pandemic, sponsors who offer assistance in kind have always been ready to assist.

“We have learned a lot of lessons during COVID over the past two years. The relationships we have built over this period are now being strengthened, and we are utilising a lot of the strengths of the team we have around us to bring the best calibre contestants to the pageant and ensure that we have a great show and a deserving winner. We have been doing well at Miss Universe over the years, but are yet to take home the title. It would be great if we could do it this year, during Jamaica 60,” said McDermoth.

Richard Johnson

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