Cottage Grove ambassadors ready to represent cityAfter the initial surprise of hearing her name called as the new Miss Cottage Grove, Brittany Olsen was ecstatic with excitement. After a moment, however, she regained her poise to accept her new sash, crown and flowers at the recent coronation. With a regal bearing, she hugged her seven new royal sisters who will help her represent the city over the coming year.
By: Judy Spooner, South Washington County Bulletin
After the initial surprise of hearing her name called as the new Miss Cottage Grove, Brittany Olsen was ecstatic with excitement.
After a moment, however, she regained her poise to accept her new sash, crown and flowers at the recent coronation. With a regal bearing, she hugged her seven new royal sisters who will help her represent the city over the coming year.
The Strawberry Fest ambassadors will ride the city’s float in various civic celebrations including Heritage Days in St. Paul Park, Woodbury Days and the St. Paul Winter Carnival.
There were eight candidates, including only one for Little Miss Cottage Grove, for seven spots. In advance of the coronation, held at Alley Church in Cottage Grove last week, pageant officials decided all of the candidates would represent the city and added an additional Junior Miss Princess spot to fill out the roster.
Olsen’s princesses are Elizabeth Eckes and Brittany McGuire. Junior Miss Cottage Grove is Melissa Rossel and her princesses are Sierrah Nelson, Ashley Schutz and Kimberly Eckes, Elizabeth’s sister.
Little Miss Cottage Grove is Julia Dorn.
“I was so surprised,” said Olsen at a reception held after the coronation hosted by the church. “It doesn’t feel real.”
Olsen, 17 and a student at East Ridge High School, said she entered the pageant because she was looking forward to all of the girls she would meet and new friends she would make. In her application, Olsen said she’s been a mentor for disadvantaged children and plans to become a medical doctor.
After spending much time in the hospital last year, Olsen said the biggest lesson she learned is to “follow your dream and never give up.”
After candidates were presented to the audience, each answered a question. Then, while the judges were sequestered to make decisions, the St. Paul Winter Carnival royalty took the stage and asked outgoing ambassadors to put their hands on the royal pillow. They were sworn into the Winter Carnival realm for one year.
Danielle Olsen, sister of Brittany, received an award from the Minneapolis Aquatennial as an honorary commodore for serving as a coordinator for the Strawberry Fest Ambassador program.
Julia Dorn received the award for selling the most Strawberry Fest buttons.
Brittany McGuire received the Miss Congeniality trophy, sponsored by Ed’s Trophies. The award is voted on by the other candidates.
Brittany Olsen was given the Christina Westmoreland Award, honoring “Nina,” who was killed by a drunken driver while serving as Miss Teen Cottage Grove in the early 1990s. The award is given to the young woman who best typifies Westmoreland’s academic achievements, community service and deep love for her family and friends.