Splendour, Creativity and Pageantry: Dominica’s Carnival Tuesday Costume Parade 2013

Dominica’s Carnival Tuesday Parade 2013 was, without a doubt, spectacular.  Brilliant costumes, organized bands of all ages, sensational stiltwalkers (bwa bwa), flag wavers and hundreds of people  in disguise: playing mas.  It was a sight to behold.  Two  visiting friends   from Canada (Jean and Pam) were completely spell-bound by this feast of creativity and pageantry. Joy and merriment overflowed in the streets of Roseau.  It was definitely a supremely festive occasion.

Here –  you can see for yourself!

The delightful Flag Wavers opened the parade, just ahead of the Carnival Queen and Calypso King.

The delightful Flag Wavers opened the parade, just ahead of the Carnival Queen and Calypso King.

Vibrant Miss Dominica Leslassa Armour Shillingford exudes a queenly demeanor in her traditional costume.

Vibrant Miss Dominica Leslassa Armour-Shillingford exudes a queenly demeanor in her traditional costume.  Other contestants’ costumes can be viewed here.

Dominica's King and Queen easily captured everyone's attention.

Dominica’s King and Queen easily captured everyone’s attention.

Calypso Monarch Dennison 'Dice" Joseph is a force to cotend with as a six-time champion.

Calypso Monarch Dennison ‘Dice” Joseph is a force to contend with as a six-time champion.

The popular band called FANATIK provided the music on the road for the groups near the start of the parade.  The incomparable Cornell 'Fingers' Phillip (right) is in teh keyboards.

The popular band called FANATIK provided the music on the road for the groups near the start of the parade. The incomparable Cornell ‘Fingers’ Phillip (right) is on the keyboards.

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Lovely Little Carnival Princess.

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Miss Teen Dominica Kaymaya Bertrand has a smile as brilliant as her costume!

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Even the Dominica State College had its own pageant!

Amidst the bold colours, a band adorned in white outfits and balloons provided a serene contrast within the gaiety around it.

Amidst the bold colours, a band adorned in white outfits and balloons provided a serene contrast within the gaiety that surrounded  it.

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The stiltwalkers (bwa bwa) were greeted by onlookers with awe and amazement.

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Some of the stiltwalkers become proficient at an early age!

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You can see why Carnival Corner won the 'King of the Band' award.

You can see why Carnival Corner won the ‘King of the Band’ award.

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The Kalinago indigenous people formed a segment of the Thunderbirds “Viva South America’ band.

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The 'Thunderbirds' won the Band of the Year Award with their 'Viva South America' theme.

The ‘Thunderbirds’ won the Band of the Year Award with their ‘Viva South America’ theme.

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This was my favourite Thunderbirds Costume. I expect it was very hot! Hats off to the ladies who represented this aspect of South American culture!

Yu never know who will be 'playing mas on de road'.  Guess who?

You never know who you might meet ‘playing mas on de road’. Guess who?

My Carnival Tuesday Grand Finale - a photo op with Carnival Queen Leslassa as she pauses for about a thousand (!) pictures on her 2nd lap ofthe parade route!

My Carnival Tuesday Grand Finale – a photo op with Carnival Queen Leslassa Armour-Shillingford as she pauses for about a thousand (!) pictures on her 2nd lap of the parade route! Photo taken by Cecily Lees.

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Natural Beauties: the Gorgeous Ladies of the Miss Dominica 2013 Pageant in Costumes and Gowns

Dominica's Carnival Queen 2013 Leslassa Armour Shillingford models her beautiful evening gown during the Miss Dominica pageant on Feb. 8, 2013.

Dominica’s Carnival Queen 2013 Leslassa Armour Shillingford models her beautiful evening gown during the Miss Dominica pageant on Feb. 8, 2013.

In Dominica, another Carnival and its annual Queen Show have come and gone.  By now, the results of the Miss Dominica pageant are old news.  Nevertheless, I am posting some of my photos of evening gowns worn by contestants during the show, as well as their traditional costumes, which could be more clearly photographed on the streets of Roseau during the Carnival Tuesday Costume Parade.

It was challenging to take photos on the evening of the Queen Show, as it was very rainy and the lighting on stage was less than desirable for clear photos, at least on my camera.  However, the show was entertaining and spectacular.  Seven beautiful young ladies vied for the hotly contested crown.  They all did a splendid job and I commend them for their hard work and tremendous efforts in preparing for this very popular show.

Heartfelt congratulations are extended to  our new ‘Queen’,  the very lovely Leslassa Armour Shillingford, who captured the crown with her consistent

Miss Dominica 2013 Leslassa Armour Shillingford displays her winning traditional costume in Carnival Tuesday's Street Parade.

Miss Dominica 2013 Leslassa Armour Shillingford displays her winning traditional costume in Carnival Tuesday’s Street Parade. It was designed by her aunt, Carla Armour and former high school classmate Amala Sorhaindo. It was called ‘Spirit of Real Mas’.  She dedicated this unique creation to the memory of the three men who lost their lives in the 1963 Carnival fire.

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Miss Dominica Leslassa Armour Shillingford is very poised and graceful in her attractive gown.  She also won awards for Best Talent, Best Swimwear and Best-in-Swimwear.

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Miss Dominica Leslassa Armour Shillingford was most gracious in permitting the enthusiastic crowd to take hundreds (probably thousands!) of pictures of her at the Carnival Tuesday Costume Parade.

performances throughout the evening.  She was sponsored by the Anchorage Hotel, Whale Watch and Dive Centreand Auto Trade Limited.  I was delighted with her win, as I had already predicted it in my review of the Carnival Opening Parade, which you can refer to here.  I think she will represent Dominica very well at regional competitions and other international events.  I’ll keep you posted and tell you more about her in due course

As the pictures do speak for themselves, I will include minimal text in the captions and will refrain from other commentary in this post. I hope you will appreciate the plethora of natural beauties on the Nature Isle!  Many thanks to the Dominica Festivals Committee for providing me with a media pass for the Miss Dominica pageant.

Kelshia Breezie was first runner up.  She also won the awards for Miss Amity and Best-in-Costume.

Kelshia Breezie was first runner-up. She also won the awards for Miss Amity and Best-in-Costume.

Kelshia Breezie's Costume was entitled "Breath of Fresh Air'.  She is seen here on the stage behind the TV cmaera crews.  Her outfit actually showed up well on the dark stage!

Kelshia Breezie’s costume really did resemble the wings of a hummingbird. She is seen here on the stage behind the TV camera crews. Her outfit actually showed up well on the dark stage!

Nikisha Philbert won the Best Response to a Question Award

Nikisha Philbert won the Best Response to a Question Award.  She says that she supports geo-thermal energy as long as proper procedures are followed.

Jeanne Royer's costume also showed well on the dark stage.

Jeanne Royer’s costume also showed well on the dark stage.  Unfortunately I did not get a shot of her evening gown. She was the first contestant on the stage and the insufficient lighting unfortunately posed a huge problem.

Jeanne Royer won the Miss Photogenic Award.

Jeanne Royer won the Miss Photogenic Award.

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Daina Matthew was second runner-up. She won the awards for best evening gown and best-in-evening gown.

Daina Matthew was second runner up.  Her traditional costume is entitled 'Carnival Ball'!

Daina Matthew’s traditional costume was entitled ‘Carnival Ball’!

Kelshia Breezie's traditional costume certainly was 'A Breath of Fresh Air'!

Kelshia Breezie’s traditional costume certainly was ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ on the streets of Roseau!

Melindaa Ulysses looks lovely in her blue gown.  I just love the clour and design of it!

Melinda Ulysses looked elegant in her blue gown. I just love the colour and design of it!

Fatima Noel is striking in her shimmering gown!

Fatima Noel was striking in her shimmering gown!

Nikisha Philbert's volcano-themed costume represents the geo-thermal energy potential that is abundant around her village of Laudat. It was designed by Dominican cultural guru Alwin Bully.

Nikisha Philbert’s volcano-themed costume represented the geo-thermal energy potential that is abundant around her village of Laudat. It was designed by Dominican cultural guru Alwin Bully.

Fatima Noel's costume is reflective of the pan tropical dolphins that ply the waters around Dominica.

Fatima Noel’s costume was  reflective of the pan tropical dolphins that ply the waters around Dominica.