Dainalyn crowned St Elizabeth's first Festival Queen
Screams were like pulsating music echoing through the four corners of the National Arena as members from the breadbasket parish of St Elizabeth cheered on their winner, Dainalyn Swaby, as she was crowned Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2017.
The twenty-four year-old, who is from the community of New Town, Black River, described her experience as one that has been truly fulfilling and satisfying.
"I am feeling quite elated, momentarily, because I have learned never to give up regardless of anything; and though I felt I wasn't giving my best, I am happy for the opportunity," said Swaby at the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen coronation, held at the National Arena last week.
Swaby, who also copped three other sectional awards - namely, Best Poised, Best Talent Piece and Most Culturally Aware - had also made history for the parish, being the first queen to write her name down in the record book.
"One of the reasons I entered this competition was to give St Elizabeth a winner. Over the years of watching the Miss [Jamaica] Festival Queen competition, I realised that there was something more to be offered. So this opportunity of being Festival Queen has now inspired me to further invest in St Elizabeth, invest in [the] youth and the future, and to invest in the legacy of the local pageant as well, " she added.
Swaby told The Gleaner that moving forward, she will develop programmes and initiatives for youth to invest in both service and product-based entrepreneurship so as to reduce unemployment.
Twenty-five-year-old Naresha Jackson from St Ann was the first runner-up, and 24-year-old Ava-Gail Patrice Lindsay from St Mary was second runner-up.