More than 50 contestants, including a Venezuelan, will compete in the Red Label Wine International Dancehall Queen Competition 2012 set for Pier One on Saturday.
"This year, for the first time we will be having someone from the South American continent," an enthused Brian 'Big Head' Martin, promoter of the event, said at the event's launch last Wednesday at the Aqua Sol Theme Park in Montego Bay.
According to Martin, a number of the contestants, drawn from all over the globe, have already arrived in the island and are chomping at the bits to strut their stuff.
Meanwhile, speaking Wednesday evening, Martin lauded the contribution of title sponsors Red Label Wine for their unflinching support for the event over the years.
"Without corporate citizens such as Red Label, this event would not be riding high at age 16. I want to thank them for their contribution over the years," he expressed.
This view was mirrored by guest speaker Lloyd B Smith, deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.
"I want to congratulate Red Label who has been bold enough to continue to support this international event for such a long time," Smith, who is also MP for Central St James, noted.
Smith, who is often referred to as the 'Governor' of Montego Bay, also lauded Martin for providing bursaries to tertiary students with proceeds from the event, through the Big Head Foundation. The students are from St James' inner-city communities.
"I want to start by bigging up Big Head. What he has done for education, the emphasis he has placed on education, that is a tremendous investment. It will outlive you. It is the best investment anyone of us can make to our youths," Smith argued.
"For the International Dancehall Queen competition to be associated with the educational development of our youngsters, is a tremendous achievement and I congratulate you sir."
Meanwhile, Carnel Campbell, a UTech student who is one of the recipients, and who was among a number of others present at the launch, expressed gratitude.
"It has helped me very well. It has expanded my ability in terms of leadership and otherwise," Campbell said.
The other recipients present are students from the University of the West Indies, Northern Caribbean University, UTech, GC Foster College, Sam Sharpe Teachers' College, Mico University and the Montego Bay Community College.
Martin said he was happy to render any assistance he could to youngsters.
He promised patrons that this year would be one of the best and would highlight the 50th anniversary celebration of the nation's political independence.