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10-07-02: Octoberfest
Minster celebrates German heritage with food and fun

The Daily Standard

    MINSTER -   Fifteen little girls dressed in German finery competed for the title of Little Miss Oktoberfest on Saturday morning. A standing-room-only crowd packed the  Knights of Columbus Hall for the event held in conjunction with the 28th annual Minster Oktoberfest.
    "This contest is a little different from the one for older girls," chairman Jannis Sherman said. "We aim for 30 to 45 minutes given the age of the contestants. They start to fidget if it runs longer."
    Ranging in age from 4 to 6, the girls took turns visiting on stage with master of ceremonies Steve Weadock. Many of his questions drew a common reply - "I donšt know" - accompanied by either a shrug of the shoulders or the twirling of ribbons on their flowers
    "I don't know when I've heard 'I don't know' delivered in such a charming way," Weadock told the audience.
    Kayla Thien, the 5-year-old daughter of Timothy and Theresa Thien, didn't need a minute to think before responding with her favorite color.
    "Red," she announced with a big smile. When asked why it was her favorite, she quickly responded, "Because it's the color of my dress."
    She pondered another question about her future vocation in life. "I want to be a doctor or a lifeguard," she said.
    Thien, who was named the winner at the conclusion of the competition, admitted with a smile that she and her two sisters "sometimes" fight.
    First runner-up Taylor Meiring, the 5-year-old daughter of Jim and Vicki Meiring, told the audience her favorite story was "Angelina Ballerina" and she wanted to be an artist who paints people and rainbows.
    Meiring had a logical reason why purple is her favorite color. "I like purple because my aunt Min likes purple," she replied nonchalantly.
    Second runner-up Marissa Luthman, the 5-year-old daughter of Randy and Amy Luthman, envisions a career as a "police girl." Looking a bit flustered at the sight of so many people, she explained her choice of careers in a single word - "cause."
    Blessed with two siblings, she replied "Yeah," with a wide grin when Weadock asked whether they ever fight. She cast a sidelong glance in the direction of her parents when he asked whether she had received any advice what to do or what not to do on stage. The response - "I forget" - drew considerable laughter.
    Other contestants included Nikki Borgerding, Alexis Wuebker, Jenna
Sekas, Olivia Enneking, Bridget McGowan,  Elizabeth Baker, Kalei Hughes, Cassie Jutte, Logan Arnold, Hannah Schmitmeyer, Maria Heckman and Abbey Goubeaux.
    All the little girls attend Minster Local Schools and none could remember what advice their mothers had given them prior to the competition. Purple proved to be the favorite color followed by pink ("because it's a girl color"), blue ("because it's the color of the sky) and yellow (because it's the color of the sun"). Most agreed minor disagreements with siblings were common, while most said the parade was the best part of Oktoberfest. Their explanations - "because we get candy" - were delivered with wide-eyed smiles.
    Amanda Sherman, Little Miss Oktoberfest 2001, didn't seem concerned about relinquishing her crown in the least. During a year as the festival's junior ambassador, she rode on board the Oktoberfest float in numerous parades. Her favorite part was giving out candy.


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