It’s time to crown the next Mr. and Miss Pride South Florida.
The Mr. and Miss South Florida Pride Pageant, going on the third year for male entertainers and the 15th year for female impersonators, is owned and operated by Fort Lauderdale resident and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season 4 finalist Latrice Royale. The event takes places at 8 p.m. Monday, March 19 at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188th St., in Aventura.
The competition will award the winners a cash prize, a custom crown and a contract with LRI Talent & Management. Cash prizes will also be awarded to the winner of each category, including Creative Presentation (with a "Show Your Pride" theme), Swimsuit, Talent, Evening Wear and Question & Answer. Contestants will be judged by a nationally-recognized panel of qualified judges. Reigning Mr. and Miss Pride South Florida 2017 Judas Elliot and Delores T. Van-Cartier will be present to relinquish their crowns to the next winners.
Scheduled performers include pageant owner Latrice Royale, Wendy Mccown-Williams, Tayanna Love, Missy Meyakie Le Paige, Elishaly D'Witshes and Jeffrey Kelly Abess. Special guests include Miss Florida F.F.I. 2017 Kalah Mendoza, former Miss Florida F.F.I. at Large TP Lords, Mr. Florida M.E. 2017 Antonio Edwards and Tommie Ross. Nikki Adams and Sasha Sommers will be the hostesses and emcees. Also scheduled to appear is Diva, who is returning for her 25th anniversary as Miss Pride South Florida.
As the reigning queen and the prior year’s runner-up, Van-Cartier knows a thing or two about what judges are looking for and what it takes to win the crown.
“The judges are looking for prideful consistency. In the presentation for ‘Show Your Pride,’ everything you wear and say has to mesh together and make sense,” Van-Cartier said. “A talent can go from a solo production to 10-15 dancers. It just depends on the individual and the individuality and of course, the budget, so everyone is judged equally.”
In an interview with Broadway World’s Trevor Durham, Royale said she’s excited to continue the legacy of one of her first major pageants.
“It means so much to me...To be able to bring [the pageant] back and create a platform for these artists who are now trying to further their careers, it gives me an opportunity to give back,” Royale said. “To put focus, energy and, honestly, finances, behind people who are trying to grow their careers, it makes me feel good.”
This year’s Mr. and Miss Pride South Florida is the seventh under Royale’s ownership. She said she is trying to rally up the community to come out and support the local queens, adding the pageant “doesn't have to have that TV brand on it to make it a worthy event.”
“It's for the community. It's for the people. It's for all ages,” Royale said. “It's a night of really extravagant entertainment and glamour and humor and just a really good time.”
For more information, contestant packets or to purchase tickets, visit PrideSouthFL.com.