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New royalty crowned at Perham pageant

Kiowa Wieser-Matthews/FOCUS Maren Anderson, right, was crowned the new Miss Perham last week. “I’m very excited to be promoting and representing the Perham community,” she said. She is pictured here with Miss Minnesota Rebecca Yeh, center, and the new Miss Heart of the Lakes, Alison Vail.1 / 5
Kiowa Wieser-Matthews/FOCUS Maren Anderson, a 2013 graduate of Perham High School, was crowned the new Miss Perham last week.2 / 5
Kiowa Wieser-Matthews/FOCUS The pageant contestants and outgoing 2012 royal-ty showed off their dancing prowess in a shared number called “Wings.” 3 / 5
Kiowa Wieser-Matthews/FOCUS Emmy-nominated Cuban pianist, music producer and orchestra conductor, Nachito Herrera, gave a surprise performance with his daughter, Myrdalys Tweeton, at the pageant last Friday, stun-ning audiences just be-fore the crowning of the new royalty. 4 / 5
Kiowa Wieser-Matthews/FOCUS5 / 5

Perham High School graduate Maren Anderson was crowned the new Miss Perham last week, joining her two younger sisters as current or former pageant titleholders.

The youngest sister, Lourdes Anderson, won the title of Miss Perham’s Outstanding Teen – a title that had been held by the girls’ middle sister, Lauren Anderson.

Maren and Lourdes were among nine girls and young women who competed for the titles of Miss Perham, Miss Perham’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Heart of the Lakes at a combined pageant called “A Night of Talent,” held last Friday evening at the Perham High School auditorium.

The new Miss Perham is 18 years old and will be attending the University of Minnesota in Rochester. She won over the judges with her singing ability and a platform of “Pounding Out Drowning.”

“It’s going to be wonderful, and I will carry out my title to the best of my ability,” she said joyfully, shortly after the pageant.

Alison Vail, a 21-year-old student of the University of Wisconsin in River Falls, earned the title of Miss Heart of the Lakes with her singing talent and platform of “Finding Personal Recovery from Mental Illness.”

The evening started off with a choreographed performance, called “Wings,” by both the reigning queens and contestants.

Then came an on-stage question competition, in which the contestants were able to elaborate on their platforms. Following that was a swimsuit competition, and then evening gown and talent competitions.

Before the crowning event, there was a special surprise performance by Emmy-nominated Cuban pianist Nachito Herrera and his daughter, Myrdalys Tweeton, who have family ties to Perham. 

In addition, Miss Minnesota, Rebecca Yeh, made an appearance, sharing her platform and talent with the audience.

The event was emceed by Danielle Schermerhorn and was filled with various guest appearances, such as visiting royalty.

Farewells were said to the 2012 titleholders, Leah Wuebben as Miss Perham, Lauren Anderson as Miss Perham’s Outstanding Teen, and Lauren Johnson as Miss Heart of the Lakes.

In addition to Maren Anderson, contestants for the title of Miss Perham included:

-Elizabeth Fudge, a 17-year-old Perham High School student who will be entering her senior year. For her talent, she performed a segment of a monologue. Her platform dealt with volunteerism, specifically, “For Better Unity, Help Your Community: Volunteer Today.”

-Hope Livdahl, age 18, who will be starting her freshman year at Bemidji State University this fall. Her talent was singing, and her platform, “Join the Fight,” pertained to the American Cancer Society.

-Tanya Berns, an 18-year-old incoming freshman at Hamline University this fall. For her talent, she played the piano. Her platform pertained to Kinship: “Building Foundations for a Better Future.”

Others competing for Miss Heart of the Lakes were:

-Emma Hilgart, age 20, who attends Central Lakes College. Her platform was “Find Your Voice: Vote,” and her talent was singing.

-Maggie Wothe, a 17-year-old high school senior who depicted her talent through vocals. Her platform was “Spread the Word to End the ‘R’ Word.”

-Emily Lundgren, a 19-year-old sophomore at the College of St. Scholastica. Her platform was “Mental Illness Awareness,” and her talent was singing.