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Ms. Christina Rom crowned Miss German America!
50th Annual German-American Steuben Parade Names Royalty for 2007
A 19 year old student from Glendale, NY is the newly crowned Miss German-America and Queen of the 50th Annual German-American Steuben Parade of New York, which will take place on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue on Saturday, September 15, 2007. Miss Christina Rom was crowned at a ceremony held at Schuetzen Park in North Bergen, New Jersey and was awarded the traditional silver tiara adorned with cornflowers.
Also crowned in the annual pageant held on May 6th were two Princesses: Melissa Gratzl of Wantage, NJ, and Christine Fahning of Westbury, NY. Amanda Hetzel, Melissa Gecsedi and Lauren Johanson were all named Junior Princesses of the Parade.
It was very apparent to the judges that Christina Rom had the talent, knowledge, and enthusiasm for the German-American culture that earned her a first place position in this contest. Miss Rom studies Pharmacy at St. John's University. As a child, she learned to dance the traditional German Schuhplattler dance with the "Schuhplattler V.V. Original Enzian" Bavarian dance group of Long Island and is the Vortänzerin (lead dancer) for the Kinder Gruppe (children's group). Christina was a former Junior Princess in 1997 Steuben Parade. These days, she enjoys skiing, dancing, baseball and horseback riding. Miss Rom is fluent in German and Spanish and was a member of ARISTA and Spanish National Honor Societies.
For one full year, Christina Rom will represent the German-American community of New York at many events throughout the tri-state area. She will ride her own float at the 50th Annual German-American Steuben Parade in Manhattan, and another in Philadelphia the following week at their Steuben Parade. Following these great German-American events of the season, Miss Rom will travel to Germany as a goodwill ambassador for America, meeting friends of the Parade, and fostering the cultural exchange between the two countries.
First Princess Melissa Gratzl is 18 years old and has graduated from Vernon Township High School. She is a member of the German Honor Society. In the fall, she plans to attend Sussex County Community College and then Rutgers University where she will major in psychology and secondary education. In 2000, Miss Gratzl visited Austria with her father to meet her relatives. She hopes to travel to Germany to meet her mother's family in the near future. Melissa speaks fluent German and is proud of her German and Austrian heritage. She has been a member of Edelweiss Schuhplattler Verein and has danced with the group since she was five years old. Her hobbies include singing in a choir and, of course, dancing.
Second Princess Christine Fahning is a sophomore at Stony Brook University where she majoring in biology with a German minor. Miss Fahning is currently the reigning Plattdeutsche Queen and will give up this title in July. Christine has been a dancing member of the G.T.E.V Schlierachtaler Stamm for five years. She comes from a very German background with two of her grandparents living in Germany. Her father who was born in Germany met her mother while her mother was vacationing in Germany. Her hobbies include dancing, travel, sewing and crafts.
"Christina Rom, Melissa Gratzl and Christine Fahning, are three outstanding choices to represent our German-American culture and heritage at the Steuben Parade and its various activities," says Lars Halter, the General Chairman of the Steuben Parade in NY. Mr. Halter also had very kind words for Nicole Radske, last season's Miss German-America, who will not soon forget her own exciting year wearing the cornflower-clad silver crown and her trip to Germany.
"I have met so many exciting people," says Ms. Radske "and I had so much fun attending the many events and selling cornflowers." Selling the Parade's souvenir is one of the major duties of the court. The sale of the Parade's official flower is a major part of the fundraising for the German-American Steuben Parade, a non-for-profit organization. The rest of the financing for this biggest of German-American parades in this country comes from private donations, which are always accepted through the Parade's main address:
German-American Steuben Parade
P.O. Box 3386
Church Street Station
New York, NY 10008
Anyone interested in purchasing a cornflower in person from the Queen or one of the Princesses can do so at one of these events:
Sunday, June 3,2007 - Gottscheer Fest, Plattdeutsche Park, Franklin Square, NY
Sunday, June 10,2007 - Bavarian Festival, Plattdeutsche Park, Franklin Square, NY
Sunday, June 17,2007 - Danbury Singing Society - N.E. Sängerfest, New Milford, CT
Sunday, July 1,2007 - Germania Park Oktoberfest, Dover, NJ
Monday, July 9,2007 - German Night, Eisenhower Park, Nassau County, Long Island, NY
Sunday, July 15,2007 - PVV Volkfest, Plattdeutsche Park, Franklin Square, NY
Saturday, July 21,2007 - GASC Summerfest & Ox Roast, Peekskill, NY
Saturday, August 11,2007 - German Alps Festival, Hunter Mountain, NY
Sunday, August 19,2007 - Volksfest, Schuetzen Park, North Bergen, NJ
Saturday, August 25,2007 - Kolping Oktoberfest, Montrose On the Hudson, NY
Sunday, September 9,2007 - German Heritage Festival, PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
Saturday, September 15,2007 - German-American Steuben Parade, New York, NY
Sunday, September 16,2007 - Oompahfest, Plattdeutsche Park, Franklin Square, NY
The Queen and her Court are accompanied to the various affairs in the tri-state area by Ms. Amanda Lechner, Chairlady of Queen's Affairs, and Member of the Executive Committee of the German-American Steuben Parade.
Pictures by Charles Ruppmann