By Libby Braaten
Sept. 15, 2018 was a memorable night for Hailey Clausen, Laura Kastanek, Claire Flanum, Mackenzie Mike, and Bailey Johnson won the honor of representing Amery as Fall Festival Royalty for the 2018-2019 year.
They made the decision a couple of months earlier to run but, but each of them had different reasons. Reasons that piqued their interest ranged from wanting to be the role models they had growing up, to wanting to use the opportunity as a platform. Mike, third princess, used the Miss Amery program to show future generations, “Being a princess is more than putting on a dress and wearing a crown, there’s a lot more to it. You can be a princess and a hockey player or be whatever you want to be!” Mike and the rest of these young women have shown exactly that through their time on court.
As their time on court winds down, they agree the best part was the friendships they have made within the court and with the courts from different towns. Miss Amery and Miss Congeniality, Clausen said that the best part was, “Going to parades and making eye contact with a little girl or a little boy who will blow you a kiss,” which they all agreed on.
One of their favorite memories occurred right after coronation when they all rode in the van down to Fall Festival and were in amazement over just being crowned. They were all filled with so many emotions that they couldn’t help but all scream with joy. They rode on the Ferris wheel together in their big, poofy, dresses and had an amazing night together.
Another favorite memory from second princess, Flanum, was the court’s first parade in Anoka. “We were all dressed as different farm animals and a farmer. We thought the Queen’s Tea was in a bar and we walked through the entire room, in our costumes, before realizing it wasn’t there. It was the parade that kicked off our time together.”
Some of the lessons they’ve learned are how to better communicate, become more outgoing and how best to represent Amery and themselves. First princess, Kastanek also learned a lifelong lesson of how to get stains out of a formal dress, and fourth princess, Johnson learned to make the most of every moment. Words of wisdom to the next court from Johnson, is to “Smile at every kiddo in the parade, dance up a storm on the float, and to make the most of your year. It goes by fast!”
The 2019-2020 coronation is coming up fast and 12 young women have rose to the challenge to try and be on the next Amery court. Lucy Curtis, Ally De La Cruz, Maddie Heinn, Emilee Koenig, Mary Malum, Kelsey Oman, Megan Osero, Olivia Szobody, Paighton Tyman, Hannah VanSomeron, Sophia Whitley, and Ella Williamson all survived their first task during the Miss Amery Talent Show Aug. 24. Most said they were pretty nervous. One of the candidates said, “Its nerve racking to stand in front of all those people and preform your talent, with all eyes on you.” Another said, “I was excited to have fun onstage while still putting my personality out there.”
Some of the candidates shared they are nervous for the upcoming private and public interviews because they can try and study but they never know what will be asked. They are very thankful for the 2018-2019 court who are practicing with them and who encouraged some of them to run in the first place. Many have said they are running to have the opportunity to represent Amery, be a role model and to inspire the youth in town. One candidate said she is running to show others, “to always be themselves and to stand strong with confidence.”
These ladies are excited to spend time with each other, to go outside of their comfort zone, and to meet new people. When asked what it would mean to be on court, many answered it would be an honor to represent the town they grew up in. However, one candidate also stated, “It would show that hard work pays off.” A candidate said it best when she said, “Coronation will either be the end or the beginning. But no matter how the cards fall, it will be fun through the end.” Good luck to each of these young women, whom would all do a fantastic job showing what a great town Amery, Wisconsin is.
Coronation will be held on Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Amery High School gymnasium.