Courtney Engholm, Miss Sleepy Eye 2017, is looking forward to her time at the Aquatennial next week.

After the completion of her year in the position, Miss Sleepy Eye represents the community at the Minneapolis Aquatennial—a tradition of many years for Sleepy Eye. Courtney Engholm, Miss Sleepy Eye 2017, is looking forward to her time at the Aquatennial next week.

The Minneapolis Aquatennial Ambassador Organization (AAO) recently sent a press release to announce Courtney’s upcoming participation in the AAO Candidate Program, from July 17 through July 22.

According to the press release, 49 ​candidates will be participating in the program; one young woman is chosen to be the Queen of the Lakes, and two women are chosen as Princesses. The selection team considers a variety of criteria including: professionalism, public speaking ability, current and future goals, education and co-curricular/extracurricular activities. In addition to the interview process, the candidates also participate in leadership, personal development and other unique experiences. These experiences include visiting Minneapolis hallmarks like The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, visiting the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and the Mississippi River Boat Cruise.

The first event for the candidates is the Community Luncheon on Tuesday, July 17. Courtney said her mom, Brenda Engholm, and Deb Windschitl of the Miss Sleepy Eye organization, will be in attendance at the luncheon. The day will include other Aquatennial appearances and events for the candidates.

The Meet the Candidates event is at noon on Wednesday at the Minneapolis City Center Rotunda. At this event, each candidate gives a one minute speech, introducing herself and her community, wearing a costume representing her own interests. When we spoke on July 5, Courtney was still contemplating her costume choice—maybe her FFA uniform? Certainly would be an appropriate choice.

The event that Courtney is most looking forward to is the Torchlight Parade on Wednesday night. “We will walk in the parade, holding a sign of our town name, and it will be a chance to give our family members or friends a hug when we see them on the route,” she said. “The rest of the time we do not have that opportunity.”

The other event that Courtney is looking forward to is a service project—packing backpacks with school supplies—the candidates will do together. “I love doing service projects,” she said.

“I am looking forward to being part of the exciting atmosphere at the Aquatennial,” Courtney said. “It is a once in a lifetime chance and I will do my best to be a great representative for Sleepy Eye!”

Coronation of the 2019 Aquatennial Ambassadors is at 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, at Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus. Courtney is looking forward to seeing her family there, and is also glad that Jody Hansen, Miss Sleepy Eye 2018, plans to attend—as Courtney did last year—to experience the excitement of the Minneapolis Aquatennial and see what fun is in her future.