Miss Posen Queen’s Pageant returns on Friday

Shelby Brisbois

POSEN — After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Miss Posen Queen’s Pageant will return at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12, at Posen High School, 10575 Michigan Ave., Posen. The pageant was postponed along with the Posen Potato Festival in 2020, due to the pandemic.

The festival returned in 2021, but the pageant remained canceled due to a lack of interest and a venue. Now, in 2022, interest in holding the pageant has returned, and the Posen High School gymnasium is once again available for large-scale gatherings.

When asked what the return of the pageant means to the community, Posen Chamber of Commerce President Andrea Konwinski said, “The Queen’s Pageant serves as the beginning of our annual Posen Potato Festival. The young ladies of the Posen High School area expressed a renewed interest in running for the title of Miss Posen, and the Chamber of Commerce is, once again, very excited to sponsor this event. We hope to see a large turnout by the community, to support the five contestants who are participating this year.”

The planning is complete, and the preparation stage is ongoing for this year’s event. It requires the help of many local volunteers lead by Chairpersons Laura Idalski and Rachel Romel-Rhode. Both ladies are also very excited to see the pageant’s return this year.

“When you hear word of the ‘Miss Posen Pageant’ within the community, it means the Posen Potato Festival is just around the corner,” Idalski said. “This year, we have five beautiful contestants participating, all with the same childhood dream — winning the crown and representing her community as the new Miss Posen.”

Shelby Donajkowski

In its 54th year, the pageant has become a cherished local event, and past queens are recognized and honored by a display board in the pavilion area of the festival.

“The Posen Queen’s Pageant is a long-standing tradition for the young ladies and the community. We’ve been fortunate enough to have interest from the high school age girls to keep it going, without having to make major changes to our program. Local pageants are taking place less and less over the years, so we are blessed to have the Posen community’s interest and support to continue with this tradition,” stated Romel-Rhode, who won the crown in 1992.

Brooke Rocco, Miss Posen 2019-2020, will crown her successor from five contestants entered in this year’s pageant. The new Miss Posen 2022 will reign over the 71st Annual Posen Potato Festival to be held Sept. 9-11. The contestants are listed below.

Macy Kroll

Macy Kroll, 17, is the daughter of Jacob and Tammy Kroll. Her post-graduate plan is to attend a four-year college to pursue a degree in special education. Her talent presentation is a self-choreographed pointe dance to the song “You Will Be Found.”

Sofya Hincka

Sofya Hincka

Sofya Hincka, 16, is the daughter of Eric and Tammy Hincka. Her future possibilities after graduation include enlistment in the National Guard or work in a field where she can serve others. She will perform a lyrical ribbon dance to the song “Here Comes the Sun” for her talent presentation.

Shelby Brisbois

Shelby Brisbois, 17, is the daughter of Richard and Nancy Sitar. She plans to join the Army National Guard after graduation. For her talent presentation, she will perform on the guitar and sing.

Shelby Donajkowski

Madison Kamyszek

Shelby Donajkowski, 17, is the daughter of Nick Donajkowski and Megan Kuznicki. After graduation, she plans to attend the University of Michigan to study psychology. She will perform a piano arrangement of “Once Upon a Dream” from Sleeping Beauty for her talent presentation.

Madison Kamyszek

Madison Kamyszek, 17, is the daughter of Greg and Jenna Kamyszek. She plans to attend a four-year college post-graduation. Her talent presentation consists of completing “3 Rubik’s Cubes in 3 Minutes!”

Contestants will be judged on categories including Interview/Personality, Coordination and Fitness, Talent, Poise and Appearance. A recognition for congeniality, voted on by the contestants, will also be awarded.

New to the role of Master of Ceremonies (MC) this year is Ernie Romel. He assumes the duties from the late Randy Idalski who, for many years, served as the iconic “voice of the Posen area,” including the role of the pageant’s MC.

Macy Kroll

When approached by committee chairperson and daughter, Rachel Romel-Rhode, Romel initially declined her request, citing his inexperience. He later asked, “Why me?” The reply was that he came highly recommended by several committee members. Romel states, “After that, I gave it some more thought.”

During that time, Romel was remembering his dear friend, Randy Idalski.

Romel said, “I kept hearing Randy’s voice in my head, encouraging me and I realized I had to say “Yes.”

Romel’s acceptance of the invitation to serve as MC has now become a way to honor his late friend’s memory while supporting the community of Posen and its Queen’s pageant.

Romel added, “I am deeply honored the committee asked me to serve as their Master of Ceremonies and I look forward to a very special evening on August 12th.”

Additional tasks have also been assigned. Light and sound is provided by Prestige Productions, owned and operated by Rex and Sherry Manning. Makeup artistry is supplied by Michele Styma and Stacy Skiba with Mary Kay products.

The opening number, designed for the pageant’s theme of “Flower Power,” is choreographed by Hailey Styma, 2019 Miss Posen 1st Runner-up and Talent award winner.

The judges’ panel remains anonymous until the day of the event and includes individuals from Alpena, Rogers City, and Manchester, Michigan. Auditing services will be provided by the firm of Schulze, Oswald, Miller, and Edwards PC from Alpena.

Along with cochairs Laura Idalski and Rachel Romel-Rhode, committee members include Janice Idalski, Suzette Kandow, Alletta Misiak, Sheila Provo, Judy Romel, and Penny Seilor.

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $7 per adult and $5 per child ages 12 and younger.


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