June 27, 2023 at 2:37 p.m.

Crown and sash time

Crown and sash time
Crown and sash time

By Carol [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

2023 Little Miss Melrose royalty named

 Abigail “Abby” Welle raised both arms in celebration June 24 and said “thank you,” as she was crowned 2023 Little Miss Melrose princess on the Melrose American Legion stage in Melrose. A few minutes later Katelyn Roelike joined her as a princess followed by the naming of Daniella Pyka as Little Miss Melrose queen. They were crowned by Alyssa Hoeschen, a former Miss Melrose, and given their sashes and flowers by 2022 Little Miss Melrose royalty, queen Willow Gregory and princesses Lexi Worms and Nora Depute. 

Wrenn Poepping was named Miss Photogenic.  

The eight candidates included Lucy Hemmesch, 6, daughter of Dave and Cindy Hemmesch; Abigail Welle, 6, daughter of Craig and Jean Welle; Wrenn Poepping, 6, daughter of Gabby Poepping; Scarlett Bennett, 6, daughter of Corbin and Morena Bennett; Daniella Pyka, 6, daughter of Dave and Tonia Pyka; Addison Orbeck, 6, daughter of Doug and Kayla Orbeck; Katelyn Roelike, 8, daughter of Russ and Kayla Roelike; and McKenzie Bussman, 7, daughter of Chad Bussman.

They were each escorted onto the stage by a parent or parents and one grandma, as announced by emcee Jessica Housman. 

“Great job for your eight contestants,” Housman said. “You nailed it.” 

Each girl was presented with a participation trophy and their professional photo by Integrity Photography & Design as they stood side-by-side on the stage.  

The three judges – Lindsey Trimbo and Kathi Sauerer, both involved with the Miss Sauk Rapids pageant, and Michelle Rust, a former Miss Sauk Centre in 1981 – sat off to the side, watching the hour-long program. The girls were judged beforehand and during the contest on presentation and evening gown. 

In front of a Legion filled with family, friends and community members, candidates answered what their favorite place was within the community and why.

Earlier in the day they presented a photo of themselves in their favorite place. 

“The farmers markets, because they grow healthy food and sell it,” Katelyn Roelike said.

“St. Mary’s. I get to learn from my teacher,” Addison Orbeck said. 

“Hemker zoo. I get to feed the animals,” Daniella Pyka said.

“The park. I like to make friends and play and eat there,” Scarlett Bennett said. 

“Oak Station. Ice cream,” Wrenn Poepping said, with strawberry her favorite flavor.

“The library. I like the treasure hunt, and you get to read books,” Abigail Welle said. 

Lucy Hemmesch’s answer, “My grandma’s house. Climbing trees,” drew laughter.  

“There’s no place like Hemker Park and Zoo. The reindeer,” McKenzie Bussman said. 

The 2022 royalty – Willow Gregory, daughter of Dustin and Asha Gregory; Lexi Worms, daughter of Josh and Steph Worms; and Nora Depute, daughter of Matthew and Nicki Depute – were also escorted to the stage by their parent or parents, after which they told everyone what their favorite part of being Miss Melrose royalty was. 

“Going to Hemker zoo, and my favorite animal was the monkeys,” Willow Gregory said.

“The Twins game when we got to walk around the field,” Lexi Worms said.

“Waterama because of the sunset afterwards,” Nora Depute said. 

The first duty for the newly crowned Little Miss Melrose royalty was driving in the Riverfest parade later that evening, along with the other five candidates. 

The pageant was a proud crown and sash time.




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