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Miss Gibraltar 2020 cancelled amid virus concerns

Celine Bolaños, Miss Gibraltar 2019, after winning the pageant last year. Pic by Johnny Bugeja

The Ministry of Culture has confirmed that the 2020 Miss Gibraltar Pageant will not be held this year, the latest major cultural event to face disruption because of Covid-19.

The pageant, which had attracted 12 contestants this year, was originally scheduled for June 6 but was postponed first to July 18, then again to September 5.

But with Covid-19 restrictions limiting cultural events to a third of capacity at any given venue, and amid concern that the autumn could bring a second spike in cases, officials and organisers took the difficult decision to halt the contest altogether this year.

The pageant will be rescheduled for 2021.

Another factor in the decision was the proximity of the Miss World contest had Miss Gibraltar gone ahead in September.

That would have given the newly crowned Miss Gibraltar just two months to prepare and become comfortable in her new role - assuming, of course, that the Miss World contest itself goes ahead this year.

“Contributing to the reason for postponing the event is the organisers’ desire to provide the contestants with a proper Miss Gibraltar experience, to allow for the participants to be well prepared for the show, and for the winner to be well placed to represent the Rock,” the ministry said in a statement announcing the decision.

“The hard decision to postpone the show was taken in the light of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, with the safety of all participants in mind.”

Miss Gibraltar 2019, Celine Bolaños, will continue undertaking the duties of Miss Gibraltar until a new Miss Gibraltar is crowned.

The event was to have been organised by the Gibraltar Cultural Services and Gib Media this year, and the plan is to keep the same organisers for next year’s pageant.

Last night, the contestants who had signed up were due to meet with the organisers and would be given the option to opt out or stay on for next year’s pageant.