Shawntay Henry of Brooklyn, Miss New York, is the winner of the 2016 Miss Caribbean United States Pageant held in New York on March 18 & 19. Miss Henry is originally from the United States Virgin Islands now lives in New York.
Miss Henry, who competed as Miss New York, is of U.S. Virgin Island heritage and the first Miss New York to win the national title. She graduated from High Point University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications — a major in Electronic Media and a minor in Marketing.
This year is the first time Miss Caribbean United States Pageant has had a Miss Dominica, a Miss Belize and a Miss Grenada as title holders in competition. These countries were represented by: Leanne Morancie - Miss Dominica; Destiny Wagner - Miss Belize and Aria Collins - Miss Grenada.
Another notable first and delightful trend in the Miss Caribbean United States Pageant was the use of natural hair on stage during competition - Miss Belize, Destiny Wagner in locks, Miss Trinidad and Tobago, Andrea Thomas-Coates with waist-length twists, and Miss Dominica, Leanne Morancie in full afro.
The pageant took place at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center and was hosted by Mariel King — the reigning Miss Black America New York, and the former Miss Tropical Paradise International, Guyana.
Contestants showcased their rhythm in a number choreographed by Nisla A. Ellis and their flair and style in carnival costumes by Jewel Shannon Designs.
Panamanian artist Kali, performed with energy and panache during the opening number. There were also featured performances by Trinidadian artist Julius di Intelligent; nine-year old Kamarley and dancers of Triple Threat Talent owned by Miss Caribbean United States 2015, Nekia Amara Edwards.
As the 2016 Miss Caribbean United States, Miss Henry will represent USA at two international pageants - Miss Caraïbes Hibiscus in St. Maartin and The Jaycees Queen Show in Antigua. Miss Caribbean United States Pageant will also be sending Miss Dominican Republic, Genesis Fernandez, to Trinidad and Tobago to compete in the Miss Plus Caribbean Universe Pageant as a representative of USA. She was the highest placing full-figured competitor this year.
During the pageant preliminaries Shawntay Henry also won the talent competition and was crowned Caribbean United States Miss Talent. Miss Antigua and Barbuda, Raynel Caroll won the Top Model segment which featured an extraordinary display of gowns and cocktail dresses from Jewel Shannon Designs.
This year’s Miss Caribbean United States Pageant was a highly competitive display of intelligent, talented, and beautiful Caribbean women.
Rounding out the top five were: Tonille Watkins, Miss Connecticut, placed 1st Runner-up; Raynel Caroll, Miss Antigua and Barbuda placed 2nd Runner-up; Isabella Sylvester, Miss U.S. Virgin Islands, placed 3rd Runner up and Rachelle Legrand, Miss New Jersey, placed 4th Runner up. Miss Belize, Destiny Wagner, won two specialty awards - Miss Photogenic and the first ever Christopher L. Ricketts Friendship Award. The winner of People’s Choice Award was Miss U.S. Virgin Islands, Isabella Sylvester with 1,260 votes. Miss Dominican Republic, Genesis Fernandez, received the Ambassador Award.