Miss Oktoberfest 2014, Lindsay Kalbfleisch

What inspired you to become a Miss Oktoberfest candidate?

In the spring of 2014 (so, like, six months before I ran for Miss O), a colleague of mine suggested I run. When I laughed awkwardly until I realized she was serious, she said something along the line of “No really. It isn’t a pageant thing anymore. You just need to be a people person and a strong public speaker, and you are both”. I smiled and nodded and carried on with life, but her suggestion stuck with me. I pondered the opportunity over the next couple of months, met with a previous Miss to ask about the experience, and chatted with a family friend of mine who had been really involved in the festival. Long story short, everyone had only positive things to say about the Miss O role, so I connected with a sponsor who was meaningful to me, and submitted my application. Boom.  

What was the biggest challenge you had during the competition?

Honestly, the biggest challenge was showing up on the first day. Now, I am a confident girl, but there is no denying that arriving at an event to meet an unknown number of women for the first time is nerve wracking — especially when you are all competing for one role. Double especially when you know they will all be smart, charismatic, involved in the community, and, of course, beautiful. Here is a list of things I was worried about when I arrived on the first day:

  • What if I am at the wrong golf club?
  • What if I get there late? (note: I arrived 20 minutes early and sat in the car because…)
  • What if I get there first? (awkward)
  • What if they are all German club members?
  • What if they only speak German?
  • What if everyone else is wearing a dirndl?
  • Should I be wearing lipstick?
  • Do you think they will be wearing heels?
  • What if I am the tallest?
  • What if I am the shortest?

So I got there (early, as I mentioned above) and sat in the car, in the rain, until the appropriate number of other maybe-Miss-looking women filed in. Then I took a deep breath, and headed in. I was not the tallest OR the shortest. Some of them were German club members. Nobody spoke German around the table (phew). Some of them could dance, really well actually, but like, I have been known to pull out a quality chicken dance when it really counts.

Moral of the story: Everyone was the coolest, everyone was nervous, and we had an unbelievable time that first day. And every other day afterward. Spending time with the women I was so afraid of was my favourite part of the whole experience.

Tell us about your most memorable outing/ moment as a Miss Oktoberfest candidate?

My most memorable outing was definitely when we spent the evening at the Transylvania Club (aka the Stampede Corral) dancing, bull riding, and generally carrying on. That was the only night we were required to dress in Tracht (aka dirndls — if you don’t have one don’t worry, you can rent one FO’ FREEEE), so we all really looked the part. The dreamy Transylvania dance boys taught us how to polka, even let us try the “fly”— if you don’t know what that is, get ready for the greatest time of your life. After we were all sweaty and polka’d out, one of our oh-so-talented maybe-misses (Hilary) taught us a few line dances (another form of dance I am incredibly bad at). So we danced and danced until we were corralled (pun intended) over to the bull. Then we rode the bull…in our dirndls. They filmed it. It was awesome.

PS. There was beer. Good times.

How did being part of the Miss Oktoberfest competition enhance your personal and professional life?

Wow. Oh my gosh too many ways to count.

Personal: I love the misses I competed with. They are all so fun and lovely. My few weeks running for Miss O were the most social weeks of my life, up until that point (conquered only by my festival week as Miss O), and I loved every second of it. I am still in touch with some of the girls, and I am so grateful to have met them through the process.

Professional: Have you ever wanted to meet your favourite radio host? How about those cool people from Snap’d? Have you ever wished you could casually and articulately bump into a whole bunch of powerful and influential business people from our community while looking fabulous? Do you wish that local news and media would catch you doing something cool and generous like volunteering for the food bank, and casually let the community know how thoughtful you are?

If you answered yes to these questions, run for Miss Oktoberfest.

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