Thursday, July 25, 2024

Dia de San Pedro festivities crown new queen; delights thousands with local and international entertainment


During the 2023 Dia de San Pedro festivities, islanders welcomed a new beauty ambassador. The extravaganza opened with the anticipated Miss San Pedro Pageant on Friday, June 30th. Among the five young ladies vying for the title, 22-year-old Mariel Calderon, sponsored by Caribeña Enterprises, was selected as the next island queen and was crowned by outgoing Miss San Pedro Faith Edgar. The festival ended with a spectacular show on Saturday with entertainers from Belize, Mexico, and international talent, DJ Wuazat.
The festivities honoring the island’s Patron Saint, Peter, started on Thursday, June 29th, with religious activities by the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church. Some of the activities included the annual fishermen’s mass, boat procession, and blessing of the vessels asking for a fruitful fishing season.
On Friday, June 30th, the entertainment section of the celebration was held at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Arena. Islanders packed the venue to witness the crowning of their new queen at the Miss San Pedro Pageant. The show started with all the aspiring queens stepping onto the stage for an opening dance. The contestants included Vivian Noralez, sponsored by Ramon’s Village Resort, Herla Ortiz, sponsored by Castillo’s Hardware, Ileny Aguilar, sponsored by RE/MAX, Gabby Lopez, sponsored by Suya Tours and Mariel Calderon, sponsored by Caribeña Enterprises.

Gerry Badillo and Doreth Pascacio introduced the pageant segments, starting with the costume competition. Each candidate showcased elaborate outfits representing Belize’s natural resources, such as conch and lobster. After this segment, the girls gave the stage to the Belize Dance Company.
The next segment saw the beautiful participants competing in the swimsuit contest. They drew loud cheers from the crowd. The Belize Dance Company entertained the crowd with cultural presentations while the contestants changed into evening gowns. They graced the stage in stunning dresses, modeling, and posing. The final segment was a question-and-answer session.

As the pageant wound down, outgoing Miss San Pedro Faith Edgar took her final walk and thanked the community, family, and friends during her reign. After that, the girls returned to the stage. Before announcing the winner, the title of Miss Congeniality went to Gabby Lopez and Miss Photogenic to Mariel Calderon.

Vivian Noralez was awarded first runner-up and received a prize. She would take over as the queen if the winner could not continue the task.  Afterward, and to drum rolls, the title Miss San Pedro 2023-2024 was awarded to Mariel Calderon. An emotional Calderon was sashed by Councillor Adaly Ayuso, presented with a bouquet, and outgoing Miss San Pedro Edgar placed the crown on her head. Calderon then stepped to the front of the stage as San Pedro’s new beauty ambassador. Her support team and family then went up the stage to celebrate with her.
This year’s pageant brought a set of candidates sharing their life struggles, from physical abuse and mental issues to depression. Calderon herself was openly speaking about her generalized anxiety disorder. Calderon said it was important to come out of her comfort zone and talk openly about this issue affecting many people. “Being in this pageant with such a supportive team gave me the confidence I needed for this competition,” said Calderon. She hopes to inspire and encourage others battling with their challenges.
The celebration continued at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Arena with DJ Julian and Caribbean Kings.

The following Saturday, July 1st, the festival culminated with an evening show geared for the entire family. The event showcased the Encanto performance by Crazy Town Kids of Merida Yucatan, Mexico. Encanto is a 2021 American computer-animated musical fantasy comedy film. The show also included other characters like Mario Bro and his friends delighting the children present even more.
Afterward, the main event of the evening kicked off shortly after midnight with the performance of New York City, USA-based DJ Wuazat. Even though not many people knew DJ Wuazat before, they enjoyed his interactive and entertaining performance. He kept everyone dancing as he delivered a mix of music in the genres like reggaeton, reggae, soca, rock, pop, and hip-hop, among others.

The 2023 Dia de San Pedro was considered another great event in the island’s history books. Organizers thanked all who made the event possible and look forward to another spectacular event in 2024.

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