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ST. CROIX - Seven lovely ladies are preparing to take the stage this weekend to compete for the coveted title of Miss Crucian Christmas Festival, now celebrating its 60th Year.

Essi Gaston, pageant coordinator, said the 2012-2013 show will take place 5 p.m. Sunday at Island Center for the Performing Arts and will feature Naydyeyah Acoy-Thomas, Rashauna Christopher, A'Jada Delana Burke, Jo'liza John, Jessica Samantha Willock, Cliaunjel Williams and Iman Pristeen Hamilton, who believe that they have the beauty, brains and stage presence that the judges are looking for to capture this year's title.

2011 Festival Queen Deidre DuBois will take her final walk and will give up her crown that night.

This year, the pageant follows the theme of "Celebrating 60 years of Pageantry in a Diamond Encrusted Fantasy" and keeps in close observation of the Festival Theme "Live the Dream, Music, Mas and History of Crucian Christmas Festival 60th Anniversary."

The seven contestants will compete in introductory speeches, swimwear, traditional cultural dress, festival costume, talent, evening wear and a question and answer segment. They also will receive points based on their prejudged on-stage interview on their platform speech that was completed on Nov. 17.

Contestant No. 1: Naydyeyah Acoy-Thomas, 20, is a junior attending the University of the Virgin Islands and is a graduate of the St. Croix Educational Complex High School. Her aspiration is to establish a motivational center in St. Croix's secondary schools to enhance character development for the youth while teaching them the skills to be a young entrepreneur.

Contestant No. 2: Rashauna Christopher, 23, obtained an associate degree in Recording Arts and a bachelor degree in Music Business from Full Sail University in Orlando, Fla. She is a photographer, model, graphic designer, singer and songwriter.

Contestant No. 3: A'Jada Delana Burke, 20, is the last of six siblings and graduated and was the President of the St. Croix Central High School class of 2010. She is a graduate of Texas State Technical College and plans to further her studies and attend the University of the Virgin Islands' Pre-med program.

Contestant No. 4: Jo'liza John is a 20-year-old graduate of St. Croix Educational Complex High School. She was 2009-2010 Miss St. Croix Educational Complex and used her title to engage in various community activities. She obtained a certificate in Architectural Drafting from the St. Croix Career and Technical Education School and attended the University of the District of Columbia working on a degree in architecture.

Contestant No. 5: Jessica Samantha Willock, 18, is a 2012 graduate of the St. Croix Educational Complex High School and obtained a certificate in Child Care Management from the Career and Technical Education School. She has been involved in dance, majorettes, track and field and cheerleading. She has competed in sporting events in Pennsylvania and Tortola, and she won gold in Puerto Rico for the Poly Relays in Track and Field.

Contestant No. 6: Cliaunjel Williams is a 23-year-old graduate student attending the University of the Virgin Islands, pursuing a master of arts degree in Education with a concentration in Administration and Supervision. She has obtained a bachelor of science degree in Biology from UVI and hopes to share her zeal for teaching, as a secondary school teacher, a school administrator or a college professor of biology or nursing.

Contestant No. 7: Iman Pristeen Hamilton, 17, had dreams of becoming a local veterinarian until she was 12 years old, when she shifted gears and began working toward a career in modeling. She is currently a home-schooled student who believes that the experience at a number of schools over the years and her current experiences have broadened her horizons.

Tickets for the show are $30 in advance and $35 at the door for covered seating; and $25 in advance and $30 at the door for general admission.

Ticket locations are Urban Threadz, Essentric Shoe Boutique, Armstrong Ice Cream and Classic Style Boutique.

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