Jan. 5, 2005 – In an effort to give the thousands of spectators the best display of their costumes, seven contenders –depicting everything from butterflies to a spider and even flames — swayed, danced and pranced to pulsating calypso beats. Wednesday night saw Fergusville packed with residents and visitors from all over the Caribbean and the United States for Caribbean night. They were treated to one of the most anticipated displays of pageantry of the festival season.
The competition was hotly contested as the participants took to the stage, displaying their flamboyant costumes. In the end, the Rigidims entry, the Crucian Monarch Butterfly, was named Queen of the Band. King of the Band went to Hovensa's entry, the Bird of Paradise.
Capturing the attention of the crowd as soon as she landed on stage, Takisha Garcia, wearing the Rigidims entry, transformed from a cocoon to a caterpillar (displayed on the rear of her costume), to the Crucian monarch butterfly as she turned and faced the audience.
The 9-foot-high costume combined sparkle silver and iridescent holographic material. The double silver-colored wings, made with 500 iridescent beads, spanned 10 feet wide. Anthony Felix of St. Thomas created the costume, which he said represents the beauty of St. Croix, the strength of its character, the versatility of its people and their ability to change with the times.
Wearing the Hovensa entry, Bird of Paradise, Kevin Swanston (who was recently crowned Mr. St. Croix) put on an energetic display that brought the costume to life. In colors of gold, blue, red and green, the 15-foot-high costume depicted a mating macaw and captured the radiance of the Crucian sunset. The costume, designed by Ainsley Mitchell of Trinidad had an 18-foot wingspan and additional wings that could be expanded and contracted.
Second place in the Queen competition went to J & J Fun Troupe with its entry, Showcase of a Butterfly. The 18-foot-high and 16-foot-wide costume depicted a butterfly in colors of orange, gold, black, and white, topped with yellow boa feathers. The golden body of the butterfly was adorned with hundreds of golden beads and other iridescent materials. The costume was worn by Patricia Joseph.
The St. Croix Educational Complex entry won third place. Worn by Desiree Miranda, the costume, named Madame Festival, embodied the spirit of festival with its flamboyant floral, feathered design.
In the King competition, the Rigidims won second place with its entry, Anansi the Spider, worn by Desmond Lawrence. This costume, depicting the popular Caribbean folklore figure, was 10 feet high and 10 feet wide and featured the eight spider legs topped with magnified faces in neon colors of orange, green, red, blue and silver. The faces showed Anansi's struggle with the gods, who blessed him with intelligence, wit, strength and trickery.
Third place went to the St. Croix Educational Complex, which presented a grand display entitled Fire Fire. This grandiose costume featured five large wings representing flames of fire. It was adorned with an array of peacock feathers and accentuated with plumes of ostrich feathers.
Hovensa also competed in the Queen competition. The entry, entitled the Bird of Paradise, was again created by Ainsley Mitchell and worn by Careel Shilingford.
A. J. "Bud" Hazzard, Anna Watson, Trishia Martin, Sonia Liburd and Larry George judged the contest. The chairperson for the festival judging committee was Clema Lewis.
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