July 16, 2007
Local candidates attend Aquatennial '10 Best Days'
Local girls to compete for Queen of Lakes Friday, July 20
By Lindsay Scherer
Several local royalty will represent their communities this week at Aquatennial, which will be highlighted by the Queen of the Lakes coronation Friday evening, 7 p.m. at the Northrop Memorial Auditorium.
The Queen of the Lakes program is also a scholarship program, which consists of 49 candidates competing from across Minnesota.
Candidates are judged based on their poise, personality and communication skills.
Local candidates include ‘06 Waverly Ambassador Miranda Christensen, ‘06 Miss Howard Lake Natalie Swanson, ‘06 Winsted Ambassador Jodie Whitcomb, ‘06 Lester Prairie Ambassador Alexandra Heuer, ‘05 Montrose Ambassador Jessica Wilkens, and ‘05 Wright County’s Fairest of the Fair Kristal Sawatzke.
The candidates checked into their hotel in Minneapolis today (Monday). From there, almost every minute of every day is planned out for them until they check out Saturday.
They will attend luncheons, the Torchlight Parade Wednesday, judging sessions, and numerous other events during their stay.
The public will have a chance to meet all of the Queen of the Lakes candidates Wednesday, July 18 from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. at the City Center Atrium in Minneapolis.
Wednesday evening, the Torchlight Parade will take place on Hennepin Avenue. This parade features more than 100 illuminated floats and bands that will light up the night. All 49 Queen of the Lakes candidates will take part in the parade.
The Queen of the Lakes coronation will take place Friday, July 20 at 7 p.m.
The Minneapolis Aquatennial is attended by more than 800,000 people each year. There is a variety of events to participate in and attend at the festival.
Some of the events include the Life Time Fitness Triathlon, sand castle building competition, and milk carton boat races.
The Life Time Fitness Triathlon took place Saturday at Lake Nokomis. There were more than 2,500 people that participated, both professionals and amateurs, from all over the world.
The sand castle building competition took place Sunday at Thomas Beach on Lake Calhoun. Participants had from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. to create these sandy masterpieces.
Also Sunday was the milk carton boat races. Participants were required to build boats entirely out of milk cartons. Then to add to the fun, they raced them to see which vessel is the most seaworthy.
Aquatennial fun facts
• The Aquatennial is always conducted during the third week of July because of the founding fathers. They consulted weather forecasters who claimed that the third week in July is typically the hottest, driest week of the year.
• A Minneapolis packager, Tetra Pak, used 25,000 milk cartons to make a 100-foot boat in 1993. This boat was shaped like an aircraft carrier to honor those who had served in Operation Desert Storm. It contained nearly 150 passengers!
• Bob Barker, Richard Nixon, Jefferson Airplane, and the Lone Ranger are just a few of the famous faces that have attended the Aquatennial.
• Originally, when the festival began in 1940, there were 200 scheduled events. The number has since been reduced to 70. This was done to give more attention to each event and to make the remaining events absolutely spectacular.
• The Torchlight Parade has been a major attraction from the very beginning, taking place at the very first Aquatennial in 1940. However, back then it was called the “Illuminated Evening Parade.”
• Barbara Peterson was the Queen of the Lakes in 1974. She became a favorite beyond the Aquatennial and went on to be crowned Miss USA.
• A Minuteman ICBM was scheduled to appear in the 1965 parade, but the missile equipment was sent to Vietnam instead.