Thousands turned up to watch the coronation of 18-year-old Ana Maria Hernandez Romero, winner of the competition which seeks to find the nation’s most talented – and beautiful – performer of Bambuco, a type of folk dance native to Huila, south-west Colombia.
The beauty pageant is part of an extremely popular folk festival, now in its 50th year, which marks the Festivals of San Juan and San Pedro with non-stop parades, floats, dancing and finally, the coronation of a Bambuco Queen.
As well as scooping the prestigious title, Miss Romero is now the proud owner of a brand new red Renault Twingo. She was also awarded a trip to Orlando, Florida, copious beauty products and free flights for a year.
Runners-up included 22-year-old Jenny Maritza Guzman Tamayo, a human rights lawyer and extreme sports enthusiast and Ingrid Salina Lorena Gualteros, a 21-year-old student and keen golfer who scored one of the highest marks in the competition for her Sanjuanero performance. Both runners-up received cash prizes and a sizeable supply of make-up.
El Espectador reports, however, that the crowning event of the evening was a performance by The Baranoa Band, a touring troupe of young Cumbia performers. All previous 24 Bambuco queens turned out to applaud Miss Romero’s success and celebrate the festival’s Golden Jubilee.