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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16 Responses to “From small town Minnesota: When no one would be queen”

  1. treadlemusic Says:

    It isn’t just the girls’ schedules but the adults/parents who must haul the float and get the girls to events a distance away which = $$$$$$$+++time for them, also. Houston Hoedown is next weekend. Coronation is this Sunday…..only 3 gals (used to be up to 18!!!!!! That’s half the senior class!!!!!)!! Seniors are the age allowed, not juniors. Another factor is that it monopolizes most every weekend and the seniors are busy ‘closing out’ their final high school year and friendships. They don’t want to give up those moments. Locally, it’s been “kicked around” to include the Junior High School age but that hasn’t ‘flown’, so far. Last year there were 2 gals……….we’ve never cancelled that part of the event, although if only 1 participated much thought to such would be given. Along with the “honor”, Houston has scholarships that are awarded to the top gals.

  2. Carol Freid Says:

    Montgomery always has a number of young ladies running for Kolacky Queen. Tonight ten young ladies will compete for the title.

  3. Littlesundog Says:

    I have never thought the queen competitions were a very good idea. It boils down to a popularity contest, singling out one person for a bit of pomp and parade. I’m not sure what positive purpose such a tradition serves. I do think you’re correct about sports and summer jobs interfering.

  4. Don Says:

    It’s unfortunate but perhaps true that young people seem to find other activities consuming their time however, much of that time, in my opinion, is wasted on Iphones, facebook and other nonsense. They do not yet realize the importance of tradition and will not wake up to that fact for many years to come. Generations of young folks were kept busy with farm chores, work and such but still managed to find the time to be part of locale community activities. Perhaps if they realized that on a resume for college entrance, as an example, it would look good to list their involvement in locale civic activities! Just my two cents worth!

  5. Perhaps in these days of instant/self gratification, the incentives aren’t enough to attract the candidates.. Maybe if they were to be offered a new; “smart phone”, an I-pad or something likewise technologically equipped it might be enough to garner more interest. Sorry the cynic in me occasionally rears its ugly head.

  6. Dan Traun Says:

    I think it is a great tradition; I hope this is just a temporary lull in interest.

  7. Sue Ready Says:

    I did notice in this photo how casual queen dress attire is. My how times have changed and do think young people just too busy today to commit to any activities that come with a reigning queen position.


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