Harrison Councilman Anselmo Millan, President of the Harrison Fest Committee, envisioned over a year ago a Queen Gala with representation from the various countries representative of the immigrant history of Harrison. Councilman Millan, in his usual fashion, sought help to make his vision a reality. The hard work of the volunteers who dedicated weeks to organization, practice, preparation and execution, paid off as the event was a huge success.
If anyone had any doubts as to whether all the hard work would pay off, those doubts were dispelled as soon as Kerlyn Espinal, the Director of Immigration Services from the Office of United States Senator Robert Menendez was announced and took the stage to run the Gala Program. After a short but meaningful greetings from Mayor James A. Fife and Councilman Anselmo Millan, the Queens took the stage and the room became electrofided. Was it the beauty of the Queens. Was it the professionalism of Kerlyn Espinal or her beauty only surpassed by her intelligence and dedication. Or the prayer she made before she was announced back stage. All things are possible and a Queen Gala in Harrison New Jersey as part of the Harrison's 175th Anniversary is in the history books.
Social Media is on fire with pictures from the event held in an Auditorium of a building built in the early 1900's with vaulted ceilings and stained glass skylights. The builders of the building and the auditorium were smiling down upon the venue happy that it had been chosen as the venue for an historic event and celebration. The venue was decorated by volunteers and from the seat cover with hand made bows there was countless hours of man power adding a classic touch. It would have been easy to go to a venue outside of Harrison but holding it at the Holy Cross Auditorium paid homage to the history of other celebrations and gatherings in the almost 100 years of the buildings existence. The room looked spectacular.
The buffet dinner representing almost all of the local restaurants either donated or given a reduced price for the event, provided food for all tastes and culture. Brothers Quality Bakery of neighboring Kearny donated a spectacular cake which was cut by Mayor James A. Fife and Councilman Anselmo Millan. It was sort of a wedding style cutting of the cake and there were plenty of photographers and social media there to capture the moment in time.
There were twenty six Queens representing twenty six countries. Two of the Queens were unable to make the event due to family emergencies but they will be at the Harrison Fest Parade on Saturday, September 19, 2015. Here is a list from one of the pages from the event's Program book.
We have put together a Photo Gallery of some of the pictures from the event. Facebook is also on fire with photographs as it should be. This was truly a wonderful event and all those who volunteered to make it happen should be proud.
DJShulomixx.com provided on the money music as the Queens were on stage and during the intermissions. The professionalism was evident as they coordinated with the events volunteers and its master of ceremony Kerlyn Espinal.