El Festival Español de Nueva Iberia’s Children and Queen pageants were held Saturday as part of a weekend filled with Spanish-themed attractions in New Iberia.
The Cyr-Gates Community Center in New Iberia City Park was decked out with Spanish decorations as well as flags bearing the names of the Spanish founding families of New Iberia as part of the pageantry. The children’s pageant took place Saturday afternoon followed by the queen’s pageant which took place in the evening.
The event was part of a slate of activities promoting the New Iberia Spanish Festival. Organized by La Asociación Española de Nueva Iberia, the festival is put on with the intent of honoring New Iberia’s often ignored Spanish heritage, as well as the descendants of those living in the area who were part of the founding of the town.
Darren Romero was crowned Spanish Festival King V Friday evening at El Baile del Rey (The King’s Ball) at the Cyr-Gates Community Center.
A slate of activities are usually prepared annually for local residents and tourists alike, including cookoffs, parades and visits from Spanish officials. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic much of the festivities were cancelled for this year.
However, the pageants were still held with much fanfare from the young women competing and their friends and family. On Friday night, the King’s Ball was held to crown a new king for the Spanish Festival.
Visiting royalty from other pageants across the state was part of the experience, and the children’s pageant was emcee’d by a former Miss Iberia winner.
Organizer Brinkley Lopez thanked those who attended for coming out in spite of the weather, and gladly introduced the slate of contestants this year along with the previous winners of the pageant.