Students prepare for Carifest pageant


Marissa Daley

Valandra Jno Marie, freshman management, hits high notes during the talent portion on the 2017 Mr. and Mrs. Caribfest in Akin Auditorium on Sept 28. 2017 Photo by Marissa Daley

Andrea Hall, Reporter

While the fall semester is in full swing, the excitement of CaribFest is just getting underway as the Caribbean Student Organization sets its eyes on the aspects that bring such a vibrant event to life much like the CaribFest Pageant.

“The pageant itself is a display of poise, elegance and intelligence,” Valandra Jno Marie, management sophomore and CSO chair said. “It’s a way for MSU students of all cultures to display their talents and creativity.”

With a total of seven contestants, four women and three men, several students are looking to compete in a friendly competition to be Mr. and Ms. CaribFest.

The contestants included Lydie Joseph, radiological sciences senior, Angel Williams, math senior, King Grantley Samuels, mechanical engineering senior, Taris Major, mechanical engineering senior, Selina Stuart, Breanna Leary and Simon Green.

The pageant consist of four judged segments: evening wear, swimwear, talent and interview. Lydie Joseph, radiology freshman, said that competing has impacted her greatly.

“Pageantry, in general, is something I’ve always valued,” Joseph said. “It gives individuals a chance to showcase themselves in a positive manner, and to some extent inspire others to do the same.”

Although Joseph said she tends to stay in her comfort-zone, pageants have been a way to help her step out and perform better than she ever thought she could.

All the contestants were able to feel comfortable in their own costumes, gowns and swimsuits.

“Some of the contestants will design and make their own swimsuits,” Marie said. “They aren’t judged on how they look in the swimsuit, but how creative they got with it and how they made it their own.”

The talent portion is when the competitors have the chance to show off something they are gifted at.

“Anything can happen during the talent section,” Marie said. “They really get the chance to wow the crowd.”

According to Marie, the interview portion of the pageant is a test of knowledge. During the interview section of the pageant, the contestants are judged on their intelligence because “the pageant is not just about beauty—it’s about knowledge, creativity and personality.”

To get a sense of each contestants personality, an introduction is held before the judged portions begin.

“The opening introductions are a way to get the competitors comfortable,” Marie said. “It also gives the audience and judges a glimpse at the competitors’ personalities.”

The pageant was started at MSU by Fatisha Imo in 2012 as a way to highlight the importance of women. However, Marie said, that has recently changed.

“It’s still a way to empower women of all cultures,” Marie said. “But last year and this year we have included men in the pageant because they can take pride in the pageant as well.”

Although the Pageant is hosted by the Caribbean Student Organization, competition is open to men and women of all cultures.

“We don’t put this on for only Caribbean students to compete in or enjoy,” Marie said. “We don’t want to close anyone one out. This is a way for different cultures to come together and learn more about one another and have a better understanding of each other. In the future, we hope to not just make this an MSU thing, but a Wichita Falls community thing.”

The CaribFest Pageant is set for Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. in Akin Auditorium, and admission is $5 per student.