Miss Palm Beach Pride Crowns King and Queen in Annual Pageant

The winners being crowned Mr. and Miss. Palm Beach Pride. Photo by Deon C. Jefferson.

The Palm Beach Pride Pageant took place two weeks ago at The Lake Worth Playhouse in Lake Worth Beach. Compass Community Center was the host of the event as they've done for many years in the past. This year was also a tribute to the current queen Vasti Love Montana, who was crowned in 2023. Beloved Palm Beach queens, Velvet Lenore and Melissa St. John, served as MC’s in the joyous occasion.

“We are so excited to have you here tonight at the Lake Worth Playhouse,” said Melissa St. John at the time. “The girls have worked really hard to put on a great competition for you tonight. So sit back and relax and prepare to be entertained. We also will be crowning the first ever Mr. Palm Beach Pride, so tonight you will witness history being made!”

Miss Palm Beach Pride Pageant featured contestants Angie Ovahness Pryce, Lady Marisa, Paris Lenore, Nash D Wishes, and Nova X Crystal all from Palm Beach County. The competitors were judged on four different categories including presentation, evening gown, and Q&A and talent. For the first category was presentation. Contestants were encouraged to wear either all the colors of the LGBTQ flag, or one of them. The queens pulled out all the stops. Contestants wore ensembles that made the Met Gala look like a thrift store. The outfits featured opera length gloves, feathers, larger life wigs, and a large amount of bling.

One of the highlights of the event is always the much talked about talent scene. The queens gave performances that made you forget the fact that you watched the Grammys the night before. Performers brought out all the big guns for the performances. One contestant gave us computer malfunction realness along with two amazing fit dancers. Another performer paid tribute to two of our biggest queer icons, Madonna and Beyoncé, along with two costume changes. This had to be one of the most diverse competitions when it comes to talent. Audiences also saw a few dance numbers and even a comedy routine spearheaded by the one and only Joan Rivers. If you missed the performances, you definitely missed out.

Throughout the night, former queens performed in between scenes to allow the contestants an opportunity to change for the next portion. Audience members were treated to performances by all the former titleholders like Velvet Lenore, Rianna Petrone, Taquoya Love Dupree, Kataleya Davenport, and Tayanna Love. Other special guests include members of the Imperial Sun Court, Compass Community Center, and Inspire Recovery. There were also numerous kings and queens from other organizations across South Florida and even New Orleans. Judges for the pageant were Scott Holland, Fay What?!, Francesca Richards, Julia Murphy, Justin Lynch, and Jennifer Herrington. They indeed had the hardest jobs of the night. Before the judges could pick a queen, they had to announce the community vote for Mr. Palm Beach Pride.

OutSFL caught up with Lenore before the show started to find out her thoughts on crowning Mr. Palm Beach Pride.

“I'm so happy that we are finally crowning a King,” said Lenore. “We’ve been wanting to do one for a long time. Thanks to Compass and me, we were able to create something for the guys that gives them a platform just like the drag girls are. I'm always happy when history is made.”

Community members were able to vote via social media for their favorite contestant. The four contestants stood anxiously as the winner was announced. After it was all said and done, the second runner-up was Liam Chambers with 18.20% of the votes. First runner-up went to performer Axel Montana who received an impressive 21.34% of the votes. At the end of the night, the first ever Mr. Palm Beach Pride was awarded to Ground Zero with a whopping 43.24% of the community’s vote.

"I'm overjoyed to be the first person to represent this title, and with such a large out pour of support from our community,” said Ground Zero. “It makes my heart feel so full to be recognized, especially in this political climate. Trans representation is more important than ever."

Winner of the 2024 Miss Palm Beach Pride belongs to Lady Marissa. She not only won the title, she took home the award for best Q&A, Talent, and the Presentation. Second runner-up went to Nash D Wishes and also won for the evening gown portion. Performer Nova X Crystal was the First runner-up.

Compass Community Center will present their annual Pride on March 23 and 24. For more information, visit compasslgbtq.com/palmbeachpride/.


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