The Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition began in 1963 as the “Miss Jamaica Beauty Contest”, but the need for a greater emphasis on cultural awareness prompted a shift in focus in 1975. The Competition has grown over the years to become the premier forum for intelligent, culturally-aware and poised young ladies seeking a platform for their contribution to nation building.
The Competition is one of the highlights of the Emancipation and Independence Celebrations and is used to stimulate the creativity of Jamaican designers, seamstresses and tailors who are encouraged to showcase their talents by designing gowns for the contestants. The contestants at the National Coronation are the Parish Queens, who have been crowned during the 13 Parish Coronations (Kingston & St. Andrew naming one Queen) held annually across the island.
Many Miss Jamaica Festival Queens have gone on to higher heights as cultural ambassadors and nation builders in their respective career fields, including Dahlia Harris, Toni-Shae James-Freckleton, Tanesha McGhie, Marsha Barnett, Jacinth Hall-Tracey, Kemesha Kelly, Jennifer Small, Krystal Tomlinson and Sashane McDonald