Earlier this month, the Miss World USVI Organization introduced their three 2021 contestants, hailing from the islands of St. Croix and St. Thomas.
Representing St. Croix is 22-year-old Nhaquifa Russell. P’Azhae Harrigan, 20, and Adisha Penn, 25, will represent the sister island of St. Thomas.
“The amazing contestants vying for the title of Miss World USVI are Native Virgin Islanders hailing from the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix. Although we are small islands, our impact on the world has always been grand,” Jaielean Jagrup, owner of the local franchise said.
This year’s competition will be held on St. Thomas on August 21. The winner will journey to the Coca-Cola Music Hall in San Juan, Puerto Rico on December 16th to compete in the 70th Miss World pageant. “Every fiber and emerald aspect of who we are will be on display. Our contestants are Queens beyond capable of representing us and leaving the world in awe,” Jagrup said.
During their introduction, each contest was asked “What aspect of Virgin Island culture is most important.”
Russell said there were too many things that stood out as important. “In a culture that is a melting pot of culture and tradition, many things stick out to me as my favorite but out of them all it will have to be our pride. We all have challenges, but we are proud of who we are and where we came from,” Russell said. Harrigan shared similar sentiments. “Every aspect of Virgin Islands culture is equally important to me because it defines who we are as a people. It is the preservation of Virgin Islands culture that is of most importance to me because it is evident that time, technology, and the new world have eroded the very fabric that wove our people together and embroidered us with customs and tradition,” Harrigan said.
Meanwhile, Penn believe the arts were most important. “While I love many things about our Virgin Islands culture, the arts are the most important to me. From features such as our colonial style of dressing, to our music, are characteristics that are unique and unduplicated worldwide,” Penn said. “Our arts show our resiliency and creativity. One can travel anywhere and hear or see an aspect of Virgin Islands culture and instantly recognize its origin.”
Last year’s competition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Other international beauty pageants also decided to cancel its 2020 edition due to the pandemic. The organization expects a positive outcome for this year’s competition. “By August, many people will be vaccinated, and the venue of choice also has coronavirus capacity restrictions. So, for August I’m not worried, but faithful we have another amazing pageant while maintaining protocol and safety measures,” Jagrup said. For more information on Miss World USVI, visit the website at missworldusvi.com