LABELLE- Poised young girls, wearing pink chuck taylors and pearls, graced the stage during the inaugural Black Heritage Princess Pageant that was held on Saturday, May 8, 2021, in the LaBelle High School auditorium.
After their introductions, each contestant competed in sports wear, talent, and formal wear. They also competed in most photogenic and sponsorship. Some of the girls raised over $1,000 each.
The girls did an amazing job, exuding so much confident energy from the moment they walked on stage to the very end. They had the crowd cheering, dancing, singing, and even crying tears of joy throughout the show.
Tyra Pasler, a teen contestant from the Chalo Nitka Pageant, spoke to the girls congratulated all of the girls for what they've already accomplished, and gave inspirational words of encouragement for their futures. Pasler, along with Stephanie Hartsfield, an American Airlines pilot, from Atlanta, GA, presented awards for the contestants and participated in crowning of the first Little Princess, Young Princess and Miss Princess.
“First love yourself. Be proud of who you are, be your best,” said Hartsfield, “Good, better, best, never let it rest til your good is your better and your better is your best.”
After all the practice in between school and homework each night, the girls were tired- but they stayed focused. Each contestant cheered for the others as the pageant winners were announced:
Miss Congeniality: Journee Douglas
Most Photogenic Little Princess: Diaz’Sha Gunsby
Most Photogenic Young Princess: Maleyah Willis
Most Photogenic Miss Princess: Izarria Ray
Most Ticket Sales: Kamryn Johnson-Buford
Sponsorship Little Princess: Diaz’Sha Gunsby
Sponsorship Young Princess: Maleyah Willis
Sponsorship Miss Princess Runner up: Jontariea Outlaw
Sponsorship Miss Princess: Kamryn Johnson-Buford
2021 Black Heritage Little Princess First Runner Up: Tiana Williams
2021 Black Heritage Little Princess winner: Diaz’Sha Gunsby
2021 Black Heritage Young Princess First Runner Up: Jade Williams
2021 Black Heritage Young Princess winner: Journee Douglas
2021 Black Heritage Miss Princess First Runner Up: Kamryn Johnson-Buford
2021 Black Heritage Miss Princess winner: Izarria Ray
Upon being crowned the 2021 Black Heritage Little Princess, Diaz’Sha Gunsby said, “There was some hard work, but it was mostly fun. My favorite part was getting to spend time with all the other girls.”
The pageant committee, Dessie Thomas Augusta Ross Jesenia Lissette Lopez , and Kecia Gary also did an outstanding job, especially for this first-ever pageant. It was the kick-off event for the 2021 Black Heritage Festival, and festivities will continue on throughout the week. Some other upcoming Black Heritage events are:
Thursday, May 13 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. there will be a dance at the James Singleton Community Center. It is $2.00 to enter and there will be free food and drinks. There will also be games, prizes, and a Tic Tok Dance Contest. All kids middle school age and under are welcome. Send your kids and grandkids out and let them turn up a lil bit. Parents stay home. The center is located at 870 Caloosahatchee Ave in LaBelle.
Saturday, May 15, at 10;00 a.m. there will be a basketball tournament, 3:00 p.m. 3 point contest, and then the championship game, at Kid Jones Park. $100 per team, prize for first place team $500, second place will win a trophy, and third place “better luck next year.”
Also, Saturday, throughout the day at Kid Jones Park, there will be music, vendors, food, and celebration. Kid Jones Park is located at 455 Selma Daniels Ave in Labelle.