Miss Albertville, Princesses Crowned to Close Out Friendly City Days
After several weeks of competition, the new trio and a Junior Court will news spend the summer promoting Albertville throughout the area.
Kate Middleton was not the only young lady crowned with a tiara and a title recently. The young ladies (and gentlemen) running for the 2011-2012 Albertville Royal Court, were all aiming to walk out of the St. Michael-Albertville Performing Arts Center with a title on Coronation Night. The process began back in February and you can read about the selection progression here at our Patch site and at the Albertville Royalty site. (Note: Albertville Royalty is open to youth in St. Michael and Otsego as well).
After months of candidate selection, candidate interviews, events and volunteer opportunities, the crowning moment arrived Sunday night.
Fourteen Junior Candidates and nine teen Miss Albertville candidates – all gathered together in their finery. Onlookers and "cheering sections" included family, friends and – as we say in the tiara world – “visiting royalty” from surrounding cities.
This night was particularly sweet to this writer, as five years ago our oldest daughter Hannah was selected as a Junior Miss Princess (at that time the Junior Miss winners were chosen at random).
Tonight, we sat in the back of the St. Michael-Albertville Performing Arts Center, taking in all the pageantry and sparkle. We commented on the beautiful dresses and laughed at the "nicknames” that came back to us for each style of wave: wash the window, twist in the light bulb and wipe down the counter. Try it – they are different.
The event opened with a welcome from the night’s emcee – Angela Haseman, Mrs. Minnesota 2006 -- and a farewell walk from each outgoing court member. As they were introduced for their final affair as royalty, they walked in a processional down the aisle with their parents.
After the current court was seated, the future court candidates were introduced. The fourteen Jr Court candidates are all entering second grade in the fall. Consistent with the tempo and maturity of these spirited children, they did not do the royal glide across the stage. They flat out power-walked, arms pumping, their hair nearly blowing back. They marched right up to the front and gave their best – often aggressive – royal wave. The young men were particular engaging as they managed to be both cute and “regal” at the same time.
Next up were the queen candidates, each one escorted on the arm of an Albertville firefighter. They made striking couples. The firefighter escorted the young lady to the microphone, then stepped back as she introduced herself, her family and her local sponsor.
Just as on television – a panel of expert judges was announced, and each member turned around with a big wave to the crowd.
Then the fun part! The house lights came up and the previous Albertville Royalty was introduced. Each gave a relaxed wave – no nerves for them. Next, the emcee went through each single, duo or trio of visiting royalty. It was a little show in itself to watch each group of Royalty stand up when called. In beautiful gowns, with perfect synchronicity, they waved their gloved hands in unison, scoping the room with a few cycles. Pros.
Following the introductions, the Aquatennial Ambassadors and representatives came up on stage to announce community and contestant awards.
The Albertville Lions spoke as well, recognizing community members for various forms of excellence.
Among the Miss Albertville candidates – they voted on and selected their own “Miss Congeniality”. Brittney Heinen was their choice.
“Oh, I loved Brittney’s dress!” my daughter gushed, caught up in the proceedings.
As the big moment drew closer, the house lights dimmed again and a musical video played encapsulating each court member’s past year. There were sweet shots of Jr Royalty asleep on blankets waiting for parades to start. There were goofy shots of Sr Royalty mugging with the Royalty from other cities. Friendships formed quickly on the parade routes. Being Royalty means being an expert at “waiting”. There were shots of the devoted Moms, Dads, grandparents and siblings of the Royalty that spent countless hours waiting for their family member to ride by on the float.
Finally the moment arrived. The new system for Royalty selection is both the Sr and the Jr candidates are judged – in age appropriate fashion. This raises the stakes a bit for the Jr candidates and it showed in their faces. The coronation method of the Albertville Royalty, is to have the outgoing member open an envelope and silently read the name of the candidate replacing them. Then they take the sash or crown and “dance” up and down the line, “almost” selecting several nervous candidates. Finally they land on the actual winner. This is repeated for all seven winners.
The new 2011-2012 Albertville Royalty Court is as follows:
Jr Commodore: Gavin Sankus
Jr Commodore: Easton Fowler
Jr Princess: Emma Vike
Jr Princess: Ava Zoellmer
Sr Princess: Brittney Heinen
Sr Princess: Vanessa McCullough
Miss Albertville: Jessica Wojcik
The next year will be spent working parades, shaking hands, attending Royalty functions and enjoying an experience that is beneficial to both the Royalty Court as well as the community.
Editor's note: We will have a host of photos from Sunday night's coronation event soon.