Barbados will have pageant queens from Miss World 2018 participating in the Crop Over festivities.
The young ladies who are representing Aruba, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Cayman Islands are in Barbados. Miss World El Salvador and Miss World South Sudan are scheduled to arrive on August 3, 2019.
The initiative is part of a Miss World 2018 reunion hosted by Miss World Barbados 2018 Ashley Lashley. Speaking to the media, Lashley said the idea to bring the pageant queens to Barbados was formed out of her experience in Miss World 2018 and the friendships she made.
“I formed relationships with all who are here today, and they expressed an interest in coming to Barbados, participating in our activities and learning a little more about the Barbadian culture. They were so excited to come here and participate in Crop Over. This is our very first Miss World Reunion for the 2018 cast and I think that it is going to be an amazing experience for all of us,” she said.
Lashley explained the Miss World 2018 representatives are not only enjoying Crop Over events such as Rise Barbados, Foreday Morning Jam with Caesar’s Army, and Grand Kadooment with Blue Box Cart but they will also be giving back as they will visit the Pediatric Ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Sterling Children’s Home and have a press conference to discuss the Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaking to the media, Ysabel Bisnath who is Miss World Trinidad and Tobago 2018 said she cannot wait to experience Crop Over and Barbadian culture.
“This is my third time in Barbados, but this is my first time playing Crop Over. I played carnival in Trinidad for the past three years, but it has always been a dream of mine to experience the Barbadian version and to experience your culture. So, when Ashley told me about this trip, I was so excited and over the moon, as this was an opportunity to see Barbados from her perspective and I can’t wait at all,” she said.
Nurianne Arias, Miss World Aruba 2018, said she did not think twice about accepting the offer to attend Crop Over.
“We do celebrate carnival in Aruba and every year it gets bigger. This year, we celebrated 65 years of carnival and I am excited to learn more about Barbadian culture and Crop Over,” she said.
Kelsie Woodman-Bodden, Miss World Cayman Islands 2018, said it was her second time in Barbados and what stands out to her about the island is the warm hospitality of the people.
“I feel like Bajans and Caymans would mesh so well together, and I am super excited to be here and welcome it much more,” she said.
Ambika Ramraj, Miss World Guyana 2018, said it was her first time to the island thus she is excited to experience Crop Over.
“Guyana only recently adopted a Guyana Carnival and unfortunately, I did not participate in that. So, this would be my first carnival experience, period,” she said.
Sales Manager of Ocean Hotels Jacqui McDermott who is providing accommodation for the Miss World 2018 representatives at South Beach Hotel said she decided to become involved after Ashley approached her with the idea last year.
“I fully supported it because Miss World is an international audience and each of the girls bring their own history and culture. To invite them here and have them experience a little bit of our culture is a fabulous idea and also great promotion for us as an island,” she said.
McDermott added that this year, the Winter Season at Ocean Hotels is appearing to be strong, but the summer season is unpredictable. However, the hotel has full occupancy for Crop Over.
Lashley thanked her sponsors which were Platinum Services Inc., Barbados Tourism Industry Marketing Inc., Ocean Hotels as well as tour buses and other entities which have come on board to ensure the Miss World delegates have an ultimate VIP Crop Over experience. (LG)