In front of a packed Combineds Club audience of around 150 people including special guest CRC Div 10 Councillor Julia Leu, Ken Dobbs, Carnival Manager introduced the evening and commenced the celebrations for the offical launch of Carnivale 2013.
He talked about the events scheduled over the 2 Carnivale weekends and suggested that all interested parties should keep a keen eye on the Carnivale website for information on all the schedules.
He asked for the local community to do their best to support the Darryl Braithwaite concert as this was the main income earner for the Carinivale with which they hoped to support the numerous free events.
He thanked both Jade Turnbull, Event organiser and Tanya Snelling the Carnivale media manager for their tireless efforts to ensure this years Carnivale would be one to remember.
He then got the evening underway with introduction of the Miss Carnivale Judges, Donna Turnbull from Platinum Model Management, Bridget Evans from Paronella Park and Doug Ryan from TPDD.
MC for the evening Trent Evans from Channel 7 took over and indeed introduced seven brave and beautiful contestants in the Miss Carnivale 2013 competition. The contestants were Holly Alifraco, Emma Farrell, Ashlee Romano, Lilly Bisset-O’Shea, Shari McElhinney, Kirahyce Terewaamu and Mary Jane Sheppard.
First prize for the winner is that she will be taken under the wing of Platinum Modelling. She will be offered a 12 month contract worth $1200 in modelling work and given a 1 month modelling course worth $450. She will also be entered into the Miss Teen International competition with Platinum modelling supporting her entry. The runner up wins $150 in gift vouchers to be spent in Platinum’s own designer retail store.
The seven gorgeous girls first came out on the catwalk in swimwear and Emma Farrell accessorized her patriotic Australian flag bikini with a cricket bat (Ed: I'll resist the temptation to suggest that perhaps she should be selected for the current Aussie Cricket team who are preparing themselves for the Ashes. She certainly wielded her bat better than most of them have been lately).
The second round was the evening wear and personality round where the contestants answered questions about their love of Port Douglas.
The girls then went backstage to await the judges final decision. But they didn't have to wait long. After some earnest consideration by the three judges, the winner was declared as Holly Alifraco, aged 19, a beautician from Mareeba with the runner-up and 'top order batsman' being Emma Farrell.
In this action packed evening the assembled audience were then entertained by three contestants in the Song for Carnivale Competition. This competition was to be judged on, performance and originality.
The contestants were 13 year old Sophie O’Gorman with her song entitled, 'We Have It All'. This is the first song she has ever written, and she draws her inspiration from modern superstars Rhianna and Bruno Mars. She lived for 7 years in FNQ. A spirited, confident performance full of life and did well to connect with the audience.
The eventual winner, Shirley Lyn, then performed her song entitled, 'My Kind of Paradise', next. She is from FNQ originally and been living here for 17 years, now resides at Clifton Beach. Her inspiration orignally came from her Mother who played the piano and Joni Mitchell.
And finally Grey Opethaia performed his own composition entitled, 'Welcome One and ALL'. He is originally from Samoa and was living in Perth before moving here 2 years ago. He joked that he hugged a coconut tree when he arrived as he hadn’t see one for such a long time. His musical inspiration comes from Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, AC/DC and Jimmy Barnes.
The winner, Shirley Lyn will have her song professionally recorded in a studio and will be aired at all the Carnivale Events by Port Douglas and featured on Cairns Radio stations.
The evening was wrapped up with thanks to the event sponsors, Douglas Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Events QLD, Cairns Regional Council and TPDD and ended with a reprise performance of the song for Carnivale entitled, 'My Kind of Paradise' performed by the singer songwriter Shirley Lyn.
Photos by Rosie Wang