As my time as Miss German America for the 66th German American Steuben Parade comes to an end, I wanted to take a moment to reflect and share a bit of my past year. I have had the honor of meeting some incredible people, including my amazing princesses, Alexandra Roe, and Bella Caico and my juniors. Having the opportunity to represent my German heritage alongside them, has been a wonderful experience that I will always treasure.

My German customs are something I hold dear to my heart. I would be remiss, if I didn’t thank my parents and grandparents, for passing on many traditions and customs to me and my brothers, such as making Fastnachts, and my personal favorite German dancing. As an active dancer of Original Enzian, I have been introduced to some remarkable people, including some of my closest friends who have become my second family. By being a member of this club, I was able to see many past Miss German Americas have this opportunity and witness their journey as queen. I had always looked up to them and aspired to one day hold the title of Miss German America and this year was fortunate to do so.

My path to Miss German America started many years ago. In 2007, I was selected as Junior Princess for Miss German America 2007 Christina Rom’s court. In 2019, I was selected Princess and was able to go through this journey with one of my very good friends, Miss German America 2019, Sophia Huber. I grew up with these women, and many other Miss German Americas, and I have always admired how they carried themselves. At every event they were outgoing, graceful, and still made sure they had fun with their other court members. This was something that I too, wanted to bring to every event that we attended. Some of my favorite parts of this experience were dancing with my court members and meeting new people along the way.

From my first event – the Gottscheer Volksfest, to my last – the George Washington Dinner, every event has been an enjoyable and inviting experience. Out of all the events this past year, it is hard to narrow down which were my favorite, but I would have to say attending Original Enzians Beerfest in June, was one I will never forget. Some might say that this is bias, but I was able to do two things that I love, in one weekend, especially the same day. It was truly an honor for me to be able to both dance with my club and be a spokesperson for the parade the whole weekend.

Parade weekend is something that right off the bat, I looked forward to. I have been marching in the parade for numerous years and I knew that my year as Miss German America would be my favorite. I also knew that I wanted to document the entire thing so that not only I could have something to remember it by, but I could also have something to share with everyone, who wanted to see what our weekend looked like. Having this in mind, I turned to social media since I felt it would help promote the parade to the younger generations. I created reels, videos, pictures and even did a “day in the life” documenting everything that I did. The weekend was filled with laughs, pretzels, dancing, singing, and a lot of pictures.

The weekend started off Friday afternoon at Foley Square where my court members and I welcomed the visiting organizations from overseas. It was amazing to see all the different instruments that they brought and the outfits that they wore. We then attended the Gala, where we danced the night away together in preparation for the big day. As we woke up Saturday morning on Parade Day, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but as the day started, the nerves disappeared, and the day went by in the blink of an eye. Just as fast as it approached, it was over. From 5th Avenue to the Central Park Oktoberfest, the day was everything I imagined it would be and then some. I had the chance to meet more bands from overseas and even traded pins with them! Parade weekend concluded on Sunday at Oompahfest at Plattduetsche Park. This day was a lot of fun for my fellow princesses and I, as we danced and mingled the entire day celebrating our culture. We even got to wear our beautiful custom Rare Dirndls.

I kept telling myself: “Take it all in, you’ve dreamed about this for as long as you could remember”, and I think I did exactly that. I will forever hold this opportunity near and dear to my heart. I would like to thank everyone that makes the parade possible and a sincere thank you to the parade committee for the opportunity to be Miss German America 2023. As I write this with tears in my eyes, I would like to wish the best to the incoming court along with a few words of advice: appreciate every moment at every event. It goes by much quicker than you think!