The Passing Of The Crown

August 01, 2016

The Miss Norsk Høstfest pageant has played host to many impressive women during the past 39 years and served as a launching point for their future endeavors. This year, the Miss Minot pageant (which included Miss Norsk Høstfest) included not just one but three current and former Miss Norsk Høstfest title holders: Macy Christianson, Miss Norsk Høstfest 2014 and current Miss North Dakota 2016; Jane Peterson, Miss Norsk Høstfest 2015 and current Miss North Dakota State Fair 2016; and the newly crowned Miss Norsk Høstfest 2016, Emily Prock.

For Christianson, it wasn’t about wanting to advance in the pageant world when she signed up for the Miss Norsk Høstfest pageant.

“Being Miss Norsk Høstfest meant a lot to me. It was something that I always wanted to do since I was a little girl,” said Christianson. “I wasn’t set on being in pageants, I just wanted to represent the Høstfest.”

A Minot native, Christianson has been attending the Norsk Høstfest for 14 years running, including participating as a dancer during the festival. She is very proud of her Icelandic heritage and believes the Norsk Høstfest is a great place to celebrate that heritage. This title was just the start of great things for Christianson, though. She went on to win this year’s Miss North Dakota pageant in Williston.

“[Winning Miss North Dakota] was incredible. It was only my second year doing pageants, but I worked really hard for it,” said Christianson. She will go on to represent North Dakota at the Miss America pageant in September. You can watch the finals live on ABC on Sunday, September 11.

Miss Norsk Høstfest was also Peterson’s first pageant competition. After winning the title during the interview-style competition in 2015, Peterson went on to compete in the 2016 Miss North Dakota pageant followed by the Miss Minot pageant just a few weeks later. The Miss North Dakota pageant was her first full-fledged pageant experience. Thankfully, she was able to call on her neighbor and former Miss Norsk Høstfest title holder, Macy Christianson, for guidance.

“I was very unprepared going in,” said Peterson laughingly. “Macy invited me over to practice my pageant walk for about 30 minutes and that’s all the preparation I had for the on-stage section of the pageant.” Obviously, that quick preparation worked because just two weeks after the Miss North Dakota pageant, Peterson took home the title of Miss North Dakota State Fair at the Miss Minot pageant.

A long-time attendee, Peterson has been celebrating her Scandinavian heritage with her grandmother and great-grandmother at the Norsk Høstfest for years. As a child, Peterson attended the troll-themed Scandinavian Youth Camp where she made her very own troll mask. Høstfest volunteers joked with her that she went from “troll to queen” now that she earned the crown.

Emily Prock, Miss Norsk Høstfest 2016, views this title as a chance to celebrate a different part of herself. As a child growing up in Texas, much of her heritage experience was tied to her Hispanic mother’s side of the family. After her father was relocated through the military to Minot, Prock started learning more about her Scandinavian heritage on her father’s side.

“It’s exciting to have a title that lets me represent a part of me that I’m still discovering and very proud of,” said Prock.
A Minot High School grad, she is now a fifth-year senior at the University of North Dakota studying art education and elementary education. Prock was the featured twirler with the UND marching band for football and basketball. She originally got into pageants as a way to get to know people and practice her skill.

“I thought it was a cool way to bring my sport back to pageants,” said Prock.

As Miss Norsk Høstfest 2016, Prock will play an integral part in this year’s celebration, socializing with festival goers and attending the many events. Prock is looking forward to an immersive cultural experience and hopes to learn more about her own heritage and encourage others to do the same.

“[Being Miss Norsk Høstfest] means I get to represent a culture that’s not very prominent in other areas of the country and use social media to share what makes our culture unique,” said Prock. “It seems that some people here just brush off the fact that they have Scandinavian heritage. I want to ensure that kids understand that their heritage is something to celebrate and be proud of.”

Throughout her year as Miss Norsk Høstfest, Prock will make appearances and present on her platform – Putting the You Back in Beautiful. Focused on positive body image, Prock wants to encourage others to be accepting of their bodies regardless of what size they may wear. As long as they’re happy with how they look and know they’re putting their best foot forward, that’s what matters – not what others think of them.

The Miss Norsk Høstfest pageant is a unique way for Scandinavian women to celebrate their heritage and make a difference in their communities. And for some, it’s the first step on their path to greatness. Miss North Dakota 2016 Macy Christianson would know: “I would not be where I am today without the Miss Norsk Høstfest pageant.”