The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Miss Palm Beach Cancelled

The popular December holiday feature at the coast, the Miss Palm Beach beauty pageant, have been cancelled for the third time, this time due to a lack of sponsors.

The pageant was initiated by the Swakopmund Junior Town Council and eventually attracted major sponsorship aimed particularly at raising funds for charities and encouraging the participation of young people.

To facilitate this process a Facebook page was created in October to create interest among possible contestants and ensure a good crowd turnout. The event, after nearly 30 years of 'evolution', eventually managed to attract enormous crowds to Swakopmund's Mole Beach.

The main sponsor, Namibia Beverages through Coca-Cola, however communicated via Facebook that this year's event would not be held on the date proposed by the Junior Town Council, but rather on December 27 "to fit into their own promotional schedule". The decision was allegedly based on "operational changes" in their structures and staffing. As a result, it was decided that their would be no Miss Palm Beach 2010.

In 2009, the event did not take place, due to a lack of sponsorship, and in December 2008, because the event was not going to be held at the Mole Beach, the venue that became synonymous with Miss Palm Beach over the years.

In 2008, organizers wanted the pageant to take place at Mile 4 because the old Strand Hotel was being demolished during that holiday, but Namibia Beverages decided that the new venue would not do justice to the event that got its name from Palm Beach (Mole).

The Namibian in the meantime learned from Young Designers Advertising in Windhoek, who is currently working hard to hopefully save the day.

"We heard that the main sponsor withdrew, and now we are working hard with the junior town council and the Swakopmund Municipality to find another client," a source said.

The Namibian tried to contact Namibia Beverages Managing Director, Frik Oosthuizen, who was not available.

"I was told that if anyone called with regards to Miss Palm Beach I should refer them to the Swakopmund Municipality," said the receptionist.

A municipal spokesperson said that they did not have any more information than what the newspaper already had.

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