The Herald chatted with the outgoing German Day royalty and incoming candidates to be crowned this Friday at the celebration.
Representing rich family histories, the candidates and royalty unanimously voiced their excitement for the festivity and for serving as ambassadors of their German heritage and the Belle Plaine community.
Among the candidates, nerves were at a high point, but for the outgoing royalty, there was a sense of pride mixed with relief from the hectic parade and volunteer schedules.
Emma Reed, the present German Day first princess, said, “It was really an amazing experience.”
The outgoing royalty all agreed that the Anoka parade, which allowed them to dress up and interact with the children in attendance, was one of their favorite of the fifteen or so parades in which they participated.
Second Princess Olivia Schatz stated the Sauerkraut Days Parade in Henderson was her favorite because of the chaos.
“Trying to figure everything out in the rain was a lot of fun,” Schatz said.
Each member of the outgoing royalty mentioned the “Light the Night” walk, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s walk to build awareness of blood cancers as well as raise money for research and support of patients and their families, as a favorite volunteer event.
Makayla Seifert, the present German Day Queen offered words of advice for the candidates.
“Have fun, stay busy and smile pretty,” Seifert said. “Always make sure your crown is on straight.”
Kimberly Teal is tuned into her family’s German heritage and was drawn to the German Day celebration because of her longtime excitement over the event which started when she was a young child.
Teal stated that her family first moved from Germany to Missouri in the 1840s. More of her ancestors began moving over shortly thereafter.
Teal’s favorite family involves her great grandmother who moved to the United States when she was 16. Due to her not being 18, she could not legally come to the United States alone, so she faked her age and came over and also avoided marrying a man she did not want to marry.
“Now when a girl is acting up in my family, someone will say, ‘It runs in the family,’” Teal said. Teal is 16.
Both of Rachel Schmitz’s parents have deep German heritage. Thanks to a family tree assembled by her grandfather’s sister, she has been able to study that history.
Members of her family first came to the United States after the Civil War and started a brewery in the Chaska / Chanhassen area.
Rebecca Schmitz, Rachel’s sister, was a German Day princess two years ago, so Rachel wanted to continue the lineage, she said.
“I wanted to be part of that and show my German heritage from Belle Plaine to other communities,” Schmitz said.
Wynter Davis’s “Bauer” family in Germany detracted from the Nazi Party and changed the spelling of their name to signal the ideological separation. German Day for Davis offers a time to celebrate her family’s history.
Today, Davis states that being part of the German Day celebration offers a unique opportunity to be a role model for girls who might otherwise feel uncomfortable with themselves.
“I want girls to feel comfortable in their own skin no matter what, especially the way society is going these days,” Davis said.
Vivian Herrmann stated that she was “a little-lot” nervous for the judging process and upcoming celebration, but she was all in as soon as First Princess Reed convinced her to enter the candidate pool.
Herrmann’s father’s parents claim to be 100% German, she