Courtesy of: The Morning News
By: Rosalie Klein
Aruba conducted its own version of Toddlers & Tiaras on Friday evening, January 31, with the gala Children’s Carnival Queen Pageant at the Aruba Entertainment Center in Oranjestad. Thousands of supporters turned out to cheer on their candidates, a record number to compete during this landmark Diamond Jubilee Carnival.
Ten gorgeously costumed and vivacious young ladies of ten years old and under, demonstrated their wit, beauty, singing and dancing talent, and pure stamina and energy over the almost 5 hours of demanding competition. All ten candidates received goody baskets of valuable gifts from the sponsors of the event, including iPad tablets from principal sponsor, SETAR N.V., Aruba’s national telecommunications provider.
Despite the overall charm and delightful performances, the judges and the public singled out Reina Infantil of Oranjestad and Companashi: Sheqayli Ascencion and Reina Infantil Noord: Tamara Vrolijk, who took home all the prizes in the various individual award categories. There was little surprise when Sheqayli was announced as the new 39th Annual Children’s Queen and Tamara First Runner Up, unlike some of the last minute upsets of the past few years.
Sheqayli won the prize for Best Speech and Best Show, and Tamara claimed Best Costume, Most Popular and SETAR Queen.
Second Runner Up this year is Reina Infantil Santa Cruz: Jada van Heyningen, Third Runner Up, Reina Infantil Pierewietje: Zairaey Colmenares, and Fourth Runner Up Reina Infantil is TOB candidate Jeany Boekhoudt.
The young ladies will still represent their various groups during all the upcoming carnival parades, gorgeously costumed and gowned as they were during the competition.
There was little doubt among carnival pageant pundits that the adorable and vivacious pixie representing Oranjestad would take the crown.
During an exhausting evening, Sheqayli’s smile and energy never wavered, especially as Rosila Acosta of Aruba Bank, another principal sponsor of this year’s carnival, along with SAC President Tecla Kelly-Hernandez, placed the crown upon her head.
Viva La Reina Infantil of Carnival 60!!