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From home cooking to royalty, Fancy Dress Competition celebrates Gibraltar

Photos by Johnny Bugeja

The Fancy Dress Competition returned for the first time since 2019, with over 20 entries in two categories showing off their designs in Casemates Square.

Children were dressed up in red and white fancy dress, celebrating Gibraltar from its local cuisine to cultural and historical moments.

Scooping the top prize in category one, for children up to six years old, was Gabriella Ward for her costume inspired by locally well-known home cook Mama Sonia.

Mama Sonia is known for her local recipes and cook books ‘Cooking with Passion’.

Young Gabriella wore a chef’s hat, carried around a ‘torta de acelga’ (spinach pie), and cook book, much to the delight of the judges.

Her sister Sophia dressed by the late Queen Elizabeth II also won the second prize in the category two for those ages seven to 11 years.

Their mother Kaylianne Ward described how she had Sophia’s Queen costume ready last year for the competition, which was then cancelled due to the Queen’s death.

“We had spent the whole of [last] summer, her grandfather had made the cape from scratch and the crown and stuck every individual jewel and also did the chain with the St George and dragon. It’s been a lot of hard work,” Ms Ward said.

Gabriella’s costume was a last-minute decision with the family preparing the costume the weekend before National Day.

“We all enjoy watching Mama Sonia on Facebook so we thought it would be a nice idea to dress up as her,” Ms Ward said.

Penny Garcia, Miss Gibraltar 2022 Faith Torres and Valerie Cortes judged the competition.

The top prize in the second category for those ages seven to 11 years was awarded to Celine Abudarham for her queen of cards inspired outfit.

Celine had her costume ready from last year, and she told the Chronicle she helped her mother, Sabrina, put it all together.

“She really wanted to enter as it was one of her last year's, so we started preparing it and she was looking forward to it but the Queen [died],” Ms Abudarham said.

The costume took 30 decks of cards to put together and a lot of hours, with the cards breaking apart as Ms Abudarham tried to glue them to the costume.

Second and third prizes respectively in category one were Cody Bozon and Naomi Rowland.

The third prize in category two was awarded to Sofia Zammit.

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