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Saturday pageant to crown Miss Oktoberfest for 2009 celebration

By Staff | Jul 17, 2009

When the eight Miss Oktoberfest candidates take to the stage Saturday to vie for the coveted crown, the winner will represent the return of Southwest Florida’s most popular event.
Though the German-American Social Club’s most famous celebration does not officially kick off until the third week of October, the 2009 Miss Oktoberfest Pageant acts as an unofficial welcome back for club members.
“The members of the club are very excited. This is very important to us,” said Teresa Kohl, pageant chairwoman. “This is the 20th year of the pageant.”
Whoever Miss Oktoberfest turns out to be, she will certainly have her hands full in the weeks leading up to the big event. Kohl said the club elects the winner over two months in advance for that very purpose.
The winner will be part of the media blitz, becoming the point person for promotions. Television, radio commercials and print will all help to promote the event.
Miss Oktoberfest will also be called upon to represent the club during the Edison Festival of Light parade.
“We do advertisements and that takes time,” Kohl said. “She also has to be at both weekends of the festival — dancing, greeting people, drawing tickets for door prizes.”
Despite any preconceived notions of what judges look for in pageant contestants, Kohl said personality is key.
The judges, which will include Lee County Commissioner Ray Judah and Port Authority President Robert Ball, will have to look beyond the candidate’s beauty into their inner core.
“The girl does not have to speak or be German, she just needs to have an interest in our culture,” Kohl said. “It’s not a 100 percent beauty contest either. She has to have a personality.”
The doors for the 2009 Miss Oktoberfest Pageant open at 5 p.m. Dinner is served between 5 and 7:30 p.m., and the competition begins at 8 p.m.
Entry fee for members is $6 and $10 for non-members. The cost for dinner is $6 or $8, respectively.
The German-American Social Club is located at 2101 S.W. Pine Island Road.