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Pageantry Kicks Off St. Pat’s Celebration
March 16, 2017

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Despite a day's delay due to Old Man Winter, a large crowd turned out Monday night at the Emmetsburg High School Auditorium to kick off the St. Patrick's Celebration with the crowning of the 2017 Miss Shamrock and Junior Miss Shamrock royalty. From tumbling to piano solos, dances and singing, four young women were selected as the royalty for the coming year at the end of an exciting evening of entertainment.

Addison Hansen of Graettinger was crowned the Little Miss Shamrock, while Rachel Schany of Emmetsburg was crowned as the Little Lassie. Tatum Iverson of Emmetsburg was selected as the Irish Miss and Alison Merrill of Algona had the tiara placed on her head as Miss Shamrock 2017 by last year's Miss Shamrock, Kayla Joyce.

Prior to the crowning, the presentation of the Miss Congeniality Award was made to the Miss Shamrock candidate selected by her fellow contestants as the most helpful and friendliest contestant. Ali Laubenthal of Emmetsburg was presented with the special award by Natalie Jones, Sean Thilges and Harper Higgins, grandchildren of the late Dick and Pat Higgins. The Higgins Family sponsors the award annually in memory of Dick and Pat Higgins.

With the five candidates for Miss Shamrock nervously awaiting the final announcement, Master of Ceremonies Kevin Tlam, with assistance from the 2016 titleholders, , announced Grace Nelson, the 17-year old daughter of Richard and Andre Nelson of Ames as the First Runner up. Nelson is the granddaughter of Dick and AnneMarie Nelson and Ken and Ruth Kerber all of Emmetsburg. Nelson played a piano solo, "Bumble Boogie" as her talent presentation.

For the title of Miss Shamrock 2017, 17-year old Alison Merrill of Algona had the crown placed on her head to conclude the ceremonies. The daughter of Gary and Bernadette Merrill of Algona, Alison is the granddaughter of Bea Poeppe of Emmetsburg and Frank and Carol Merrill. For her talent selection, Alison performed a vocal solo to "Beautiful Day."

For the crowning of the Junior Miss titleholders, Tlam began by inviting the five Little Miss candidates to the stage and announced Addison Elizabeth Hansen, the daughter of Jon and Ashley Hansen of Graettinger as the new Little Miss. Addison performed a Jazz Dance to "Hot-Hot-Hot"?as her talent presentation.

The five Little Lassie candidates then took the stage, where Rachel Schany was crowned as the new Little Lassie. Rachel is the daughter of Jeff and Erin Schany of Emmetsburg and performed a Lyrical dance to "Home Again" as her talent presentation.

The four contestants for Irish Miss came to the stage and Tlam announced the name of Tatum Iverson as the new Irish Miss. Tatum, the daughter of Shannon and Renee Iverson of Emmetsburg, sang "My Church" as her talent selection.

As part of the program, personal interviews with each contestant at all four age levels were conducted earlier in the afternoon by the panel of judges, who also evaluated each contestant on their talent presentation as well. Serving as the judges were Nicole Jungers of Spirit Lake, Casey Sievert of Estherville and T.J. Johnson of Sioux Falls, SD. Sarah Bonnstetter served as the auditor for the judges, while Aaron Hutchison and Carson Clark served as escorts for the Miss Shamrock contestants.

Several visiting Queens were also introduced during the program, inlcluding Emmetsburg Homecoming Queen 2016 Sarah Pugh; Graettinger-Terril Homecoming Queen 2016 Jacey Hauge; Miss Graettinger Emma Feldhacker; Palo Alto County Fair Queen Rachel Hoffman; Iowa Holstein Princess Jenna Chapman; Kossuth County Fair Queen Mackenzie Pesicka and Miss Iowa Princess of America Amanda Myers.

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