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Plans moving forward for Miss South Pacific Pageant

Six countries confirmed to attend
fili@samoanews.com

Six countries have confirmed sending their beauty queens to this year’s Miss South Pacific Pageant, hosted by American Samoa the evening of Dec. 8 at the Governor H.Rex Lee Auditorium where the winner will receive $2,500 cash among other prizes.

The American Samoa Visitor’s Bureau is working in collaboration with the local organizing committee to stage the regional pageant, which is an annual event.

This year's major sponsor is McDonald’s Restaurant followed by Blue Sky Communications, the Gold sponsor. The territory last hosted the Miss South Pacific Pageant in 2008, as a finale to the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts.

Reigning Miss South Pacific, Alisi Rabukawaqa of Fiji will relinquish her crown in Pago Pago. She was crowned last December in Samoa.

Visitor’s Bureau executive director David Vaeafe said this year’s event is called McDonald’s Miss South Pacific 2012 and is under the theme ‘Treasures of the Pacific’. Countries and territories that have already confirmed their participation are American Samoa, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Aoteroa (New Zealand).

Awaiting final confirmation are contestants from Tokelau, Cook Islands, Hawaiian Islands and Solomon Islands — whose newspaper, the Solomon Star reported recently that the country plans to submit this year a bid to host next year’s pageant.

Vaeafe said the local organizing committee is working on the weeklong program for the pageant, with contestants set to start arriving in the territory on Dec. 2, with the finale on Dec. 8. Among the planned activities is a parade of floats, representative of each contestant’s nation or island-country.

Asked about the cash prizes, Vaeafe said the winner gets $2,500; first runner-up gets $1,500; second runner-up with $1,000; third runner-up  $750; and fourth runner-up $500. They also receive other prizes and gifts including the Chairman’s Tanoa for the winner, while the runners-up receive smaller tanoa.

Cash prizes of $250 will also be awarded for each of the following categories: best talent, best traditional costume; best sarong; Miss Personality; Miss National Tourism; Miss Photogenic; and Miss Internet (the contestant who garners the most votes on the internet).

The rest of the contestants will receive gift prizes from local businesses.

Vaeafe also reconfirmed that the host country provides free accommodation and airport transfers for each contestant and their chaperone and they will be staying at Sadies By The Sea, which is where the overseas board members of the Miss South Pacific Pageant will also be staying. Board member accommodations are paid by the host country.

“Besides these individuals there will also be others traveling with the contestants. For example, Papua New Guinea’s total delegation is 13 people,” said Vaeafe. “There will also be friends and supporters of the contestants traveling here. This will add a great boost to the local economy as we head into the Christmas holiday.”

He also noted the host country will provide meals for the contestants and their chaperones.

Vaeafe also revealed that pageant night will be corporate tables only — with a total of 50 corporate tables and only 15 left to be paid. The corporate tables are $750 each, and come with a three-course meal for the event.

Owned by the Samoa government, the pageant was first held in Apia in 1987 in which then Miss American Samoa, Juliet Spencer became the first title holder.



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