SUVA, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The 31st Miss Pacific Islands pageant started on Wednesday night in Nadi, the third largest city of Fiji, with nine beautiful contestants from the South Pacific island states.
The opening ceremony of the four-day pageant included a march through Nadi while the launch was officiated by Fijian president Jioji Konrote.
The nine contestants from Fiji, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Rapanui (Easter Islands), Solomon Islands and Tonga are vying for the crown this year with Fiji represented by Hally Qaqa who won the Miss Fiji Pageant last month.
The 24-year-old Miss Fiji, who is currently completing her Diploma in Human Anatomy and Physiology, will be carrying the message of strengthening family morals and values at the pageant. She also hopes to be a voice and advocate for the issue of climate change.
The contestants opening performance, introduction and sarong judging was held on Wednesday night while the talent judging will be held on Thursday. 2017 Miss Pacific Islands will be crowned on Saturday night.
Earlier on Wednesday, Fiji's Minister for Local Government Parveen Bala said this year's theme of the pageant is Climate Action to Sustain Our Islands', and the event organizers decided on the theme based on the recent COP23 outcomes to support Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama's presidency.
Fijian contestants won the title in 2009 when Merewalesi Nailatikau clinched the title and Fiji has managed to regain the title two more times with Alisi Rabukawaqa in 2011 and with the reigning Miss Pacific Islands Anne Dunn from last year.