Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

From small town Minnesota: When no one would be queen July 22, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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As we were leaving, Miss Elysian royalty were handing out Car Show trophies.

Miss Elysian royalty handed out Car Show trophies at the community’s Fourth of July celebration in 2015. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo used for illustration purposes only.

ARE HIGH SCHOOL teens too busy to reign as small town royalty? That’s the assessment of one local pageant organizer.

According to an article published in the The Gaylord Hub, only one girl applied for the role of Miss Gaylord 2016. That lack of interest caused organizers to call off the coronation which is part of this southern Minnesota community’s annual Extravaganza celebration in August.

Brianna Hahn, chairperson of the Gaylord Royal Ambassadors, cited competition from sports, summer jobs and post-secondary education for the waning interest along with a smaller than usual pool of potential candidates this year. Additionally, Hahn noted that surrounding communities are facing the same problem.

I checked several neighboring towns and found the royalty tradition continuing with a Miss Winthrop at Farm City Fun Fest, Miss Henderson at Sauerkraut Days, Miss Nicollet at Friendship Days and Miss Le Sueur at the Giant Celebration.

But I expect Hahn is right—that other rural Minnesota communities are experiencing declining numbers, too, in queen candidates. Is your community one of them?

Are small town queen competitions becoming a thing of the past? Should changes be made to continue the tradition? What are your thoughts?

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Source cited: The Gaylord Hub

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