Christine Fay has dreamed of being a Ms. Oktoberfest since she was 11 and met one performing her duties.
This past weekend that dream came true. Fay, of North Fort Myers was crowned Ms. Oktoberfest Saturday at the German American Social Club’s annual Ms. Oktober-fest pageant which included four other hopefuls.
Last year’s winner, Scarlett Conrad, put the sash and tiara on a surprised but jubilant Fay after her name was announced.
“I didn’t think I would win. There are so many great contestants who have done so many great things for the community and were even from Germany. Besides, I don’t public speak so well,” Fay said.
Fay said she has family members who are members of the club (who also convinced her to compete) and wanted to do something as a way of expressing thanks to the people who took her in.
“I’ve been looking for a way to give back to the community since I graduated from college and now I can be a part of something bigger than myself and give back to the club that has been so great to me every time I’ve been here,” Fay said.
Fay, 25, is a 14-year resident of Southwest Florida, and is a third-generation owner and manager of Marine Trading Post in North Fort Myers, where she also went to high school. She has also volunteered at Naples Botanical Gardens and for Monofilament Madness.
Her hobbies include kayaking, boating, shopping, reading, music and painting – and she does enjoy beer, which should make her a natural for the part.
Fay will represent the club during its annual Oktoberfest, which will take place in late October, as well as the Gartenfests that happen throughout the winter months. She will also be on the float for the Edison Parade of Lights and generally represent the club for the next year.
“The girl we pick will reign over Oktoberfest for the two weeks and also different events. She will be our goodwill ambassador,” said Teresa Kohl, Ms. Oktoberfest co-chair. “We’re a part of the community and we like to contribute to it, and there’s a person we send to be that ambassador.”
Kohl said while looks are nice, it’s personality, grace and the ability to deal with the public that really matters. Contestants only have to be between the ages of 21 and 45.
Conrad, who said her time as Ms. Oktoberfest was awesome, gave some advice to Fay.
“Just be yourself and have a good time. Don’t pretend to be someone else, just go out and enjoy it,” Conrad said.
Leiny Ruiz was runner-up, while Jasmin Pearson was third. Amanda Donnar and Alley Mooney also competed.
For Donnar it was the seventh time she has competed. She said she will try again.
“It’s fun. That’s why I come back every year. They make me feel like family here,” Donnar said. “This is the most fun part about coming. I’m not disappointed, it’s just another year of trying again.
Mooney, a former pageant winner, said she had a blast and also plans to compete next year.
“It’s totally different, but the atmosphere is great. It’s was so much fun and all the girls were great. I grow from every experience. It was a good time,” Mooney said.