Wendy Kelly Simmons is Miss Octofest 2007

Octofest Pageant contestants
Octofest Pageant contestants Reporters
Event Date: November 10, 2007
Posted: December 09, 2007

The Valencia Sports and Cultural Foundation (VSCF) held their Octofest 2007 at the Valencia Government Secondary School on Saturday 10th November, 2007. A major part of this event was their Octofest Pageant which featured seven young ladies vying for the chance to be crowned Miss Octofest 2007. The VSCF also were celebrating their thirteenth anniversary, and President David Gadar highlighted that it was the seventh edition of the pageant.

Mr. Gadar explained that the Octofest, as implied by the name, usually happens in October, but for various reasons it was scheduled for November. Other speakers included Michael Guptar, Secretary Treasurer of the Valencia Sports and Cultural Foundation, who wore the hat of Master of Ceremony on this occasion; the Vice President of the Valencia Sports and Cultural Foundation and Mr. Eric 'Pink Panther' Taylor. Scores of patrons including friends and family of the contestants gathered at the Valencia Government Secondary School to support the young ladies.

Octofest Pageant contestants in cultural wear
Octofest Pageant contestants in cultural wear

The show started with the contestants introducing themselves and sharing historical information about Trinidad and Tobago. Each contestant wore Caribbean wear reminiscent of slavery and post-slavery society with African and European influences in the design. The contestants in the pageant were Ria Rudder, Kernisha Hercules, Shradah McIntyre, Aubrietra Rudder, Akeela Akisha Blake, Anastacia Williams and Wendy Kelly Simmons. After their introductions, they performed a group dance which showcased their choreographic skills as well as their confidence. Assessing these contestants were the judges: Shelly Pollonais, Carmen Grierson, Alicia, Curtis Peters and Roslyn Khan-Montrose.

It was not all about the pageant delegates however as several performers delighted the audience with their contributions. Guest performer Sally-Ann Dickson did a monologue "It is a Trini Thing" which was quite amusing and entertaining as it explored all the particularities and traits of the Trini personality. Following Ms. Dickson was a singer introduced only as 'Simplicity' who had the audience clapping and singing to her rendition "Unbreak My Heart" and the Rihanna-sung hit "Umbrella".

Anastacia Williams dancing to Nadia Batson's 'Caribbean Girl'
Anastacia Williams dancing to Nadia Batson's 'Caribbean Girl'

Following these performances, it was time for the entertaining talent segment of the pageant which allowed contestants to showcase their unique talents. Ria Rudder performed a self-written piece titled "Don't Judge Me" that explored the personal and social experiences of a mentally depressed homeless person. Anastacia Williams did a dance to Nadia Batson's "Caribbean Girl" that added her well-executed dance moves to the lively song. Aubrietra Rudder did a dramatic monologue about a young lady who contracted HIV after a history of drug and sexual abuse. Wendy Kelly Simmons did an excellent dance titled "A Dance of Freedom" to one of Mariam Makeba's classic songs. Akeela Blake, looking resplendent in a yellow outfit, gave a rendition of Singing Sandra's "Voices of the Ghetto". Shradah McIntyre performed a Calypso titled "Tears of Pain" that she synopsized is a song in defense of all sexually abused children. All the contestants performed commendably and the audience showed their appreciation with rapturous applause.

Octofest Pageant contestant Akeela Blake 
Octofest Pageant contestant Akeela Blake
After the talent segment, it was more entertainment as the Little Crab Dancers Academy did an excellent, well-choreographed dance to great appreciation from the audience. Young singer Ferdinand Smith, usually known for his Calypso performances, showed his versatility with a Soca Parang rendition. Talented young Calypsonian Jael Paul, the reigning Calypso Monarch of the VSCF, sang a Calypso titled "One Day I Came" about the greatness and legacy of the ancestors while Bernadette Callender sang the classic "One Moment in Time", both of which were well-received by the audience. Also performing were saxophonist Narace Ramjattan and young Soca singer Aldwyn 'Princely' Le Blanc. The audience thoroughly enjoyed these performances.

The contestants came to the stage, looking quite elegant in their evening wear, as the pageant moved into the final question and answer segment. When the results were announced it was the tall and graceful Wendy Kelly Simmons who won the title of Miss Octofest. Her question asked what she would recommend be done about the traffic situation, to which she answered by acknowledging the severity of the traffic problem and suggesting carpooling, shuttle services and an increased police presence on the nation's roads and highways to deter lawless drivers; an answer that drew loud applause from the audience. The first and second runners-up were Shradah McIntyre and Akeela Blake respectively, both of whom also gave excellent answers to the questions posed.

Wendy Kelly Simmons, Octofest Queen 2007
Wendy Kelly Simmons, Octofest Queen 2007

Octofest 2007 Results

Miss Octofest Queen 2007: Wendy Kelly Simmons
1st runner up: Shradah McIntyre
2nd runner up: Akeela Blake
People's Choice: Akeela Blake
Miss Photogenic: Akeela Blake
Miss Congeniality: Kernisha Hercules
Best Gown: Shradah McIntyre

Octofest 2007 Queen Pageant in pictures:

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