Jessica Smith, 16, was crowned Burnham-On-Sea’s new Carnival Queen during a special pageant ceremony in the town last night (Friday, April 26th).
The town’s annual Carnival Queen and Princess Pageant evening took place at The Princess Theatre in front of an audience of 180 people, where Jessica was chosen by a panel of judges to lead November’s carnival parade.
This year’s two Carnival Princesses are 6 year-old Belle-Seren Tetsell and 7 year-old Chloe Herowych.
The judges – Carnival President Malcolm Borland, Carnival Chairman Phil New, Sarah Glaysher of Prim & Proper and Tina Hook of Highbridge Caravans – assessed the entrants and picked the winners.
Jessica, who lives in Burnham and is a pupil at Highbridge’s King Alfred School Academy, told Burnham-On-Sea.com she’s “delighted” to have been picked.
“I have been considering having a go at Carnival Queen for several years and am really pleased to have won,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the carnival this autumn with my two wonderful Princesses.”
Tony Rees, who compered the event with former Carnival Queens Hannah Sainsbury and Melissa Fear, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We had a fantastic evening, there was a really superb line-up of entrants this year – 20 girls in total with a further four running for queen. They were all wonderful and the judges had a tough job choosing the winners.”
Jessica was congratulated by friends and staff at King Alfred School Academy, above. The school’s Suzanne Lawrence said they were “very proud” of her, especially as she was wearing a ‘pre-loved’ dress from the school’s pop-up prom shop.
During the evening, each of the entrants was asked several questions and encouraged to show their individual personalities.
The capacity audience enjoyed music and dance during the intervals from Lisa Jane School of Dance, Dance Fit Academy, Mark Youth Theatre, Burnham and District Panto Society, and Melissa Fear.
Carnival President Malcolm Borland thanked last year’s Queen, Niah Vall, for all her work over the past 12 months. In her outgoing speech, Niah said being Queen had been a “wonderful experience” and she wished the new Carnival Queen well.
The selection of the new queen is the first event in the run-up to the 2019 Burnham-On-Sea Carnival, which takes place on Monday November 4th.
Those running for the Queen role included Rebecca Hall, Abbi Fear, Bev Milner-Simonds and the winner, Jessica Smith.