Carnival Queen’s Coronation


Amber Toboyek is crowned Winter Carnival Queen 2017. – Photo by Kiran Udayakumar

In 1922, Michigan Tech held its first win­ter-themed celebration. At that time, it was known as the Ice Carnival and it consisted of costumed students acting as circus animals, live music and skating contests. It took six long years before the Queen’s Coronation was added to the list of festivities. Originally, the Winter Carnival Queen was chosen on the basis of her beauty, ice skating abilities and skiing acumen. Today’s Winter Carni­val Queens need not chill their toes, as ice skating and skiing are no longer part of the selection process. Instead, Winter Carnival Queens must extemporaneously respond to prompts and perform a talent in front of a live audience.

On the evening of Saturday, Feb. 4, as stu­dents built castles in the snow, Michigan Tech’s finest young ladies competed for the Winter Carnival crown. Eight fought for the title of Winter Carnival Queen, but only one would prevail. Kelli Dekutoski, Rylee Price, Megan Schluentz, Amber Toboyek, Liesl Flannery, Alexis Dani, Shae Thomson and Cathleen “Cat” Saraza brought their tenac­ity to the competition to make this year’s Queen’s Coronation one of the most exciting yet.

In the question and answer phase, contes­tants Kelli Dekutoski and Megan Schluentz were clear standouts, using effortless humor to impress the audience.

Dekutoski, sponsored by the Guardians of the North, was asked whether she would rather ride a horse to school every day or roll in the snow for thirty seconds in the freezing cold.

“I crawled for a lot more than thirty sec­onds in the sand this summer as part of my Air Force training, so I think I can handle crawling in the snow,” she said, proving just how tough Huskies can be.

“I’d spend my last day of warm weather crying…but then I’d be fine,” said Schluentz, drawing laughter from the crowd. She add­ed, “I don’t hate winter. Vote for me!”

Miss Congeniality went to Cat Saraza, whose Pep Band friends were perhaps the most enthusiasitc members of the crowd. Saraza was also the second runner-up for Winter Carnival Queen. The winner of the audience choice award as well as the first runner-up for Winter Carnival Queen was Liesl Flannery with her clever and charming rap, “The Queen of Snow Town.”

The title of Winter Carnival Queen 2017 was given to Amber Toboyek of Alpha Gamma Delta, sponsored by Roy’s Pasties & Bakery. Toboyek’s talent was “Cards of the Keweenaw.”

In the end, Price, Schluentz, Toboyek, De­kutoski, Flannery, Thomson, Dani and Sara­za were all queens in their glittering gowns as they left the stage. Each departed with a new and unforgettable experience that will brighten their winters for decades to come.