Milbank High School senior Clare Van Dover was fourth runner-up at the South Dakota Snow Queen Festival in Aberdeen on January 14. She was one of 28 contestants.
Clare said, “It feels good to be recognized and I appreciate others are able to see the good these girls are doing in their lives and communities. It was truly an honor to be there and represent Milbank.”
She spent three days in Aberdeen attending workshops, a networking session, and a self-defense class. They had a rollerskating and pizza party, a beach party at the hotel, toured the Dakota Prairie Museum, and ate lunch at Dairy Queen with their little Snow Sisters. “That was a lot of fun” she said. “The little girls liked to laugh about eating at Dairy Queen because one of us was going to be crowned the queen.”
Clare was escorted to the Queen’s Ball by her father, Wade. “We could have anyone. A lot had high school senior boys, but I was honored to have my dad escort me.”
Prior to the event, Clare created a gift basket to be raffled off during the Queen’s Banquet. “Each of us put together a basket that was representative of our home community. I included items in mine from Dakota Granite, Valley Queen Cheese, Waldners, VPD, Triple Dip Lodge, and Big Stone Therapies.” Each contestant explained what was in their basket, what it meant to them, and how the baskets represented their community.
The event concluded with the grand coronation. “It was an unbelievable experience,” Clare said. “They made all of us feel so important. I was nervous when I first got there, but once I started talking to the other girls, I started having a lot of fun. It was a great time.”
Clare will finish her reign as Miss Milbank with community events and parades. After she graduates, she plans to attend either the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota or the University of South Dakota to study nursing.
The 2017 South Dakota Snow Queen royalty court includes: Shawnda Rausch, 3rd runner up, Miss Hoven; Miranda Sumption, 1st runner up, Miss Frederick Area; Brianna Palmer, 2017 South Dakota Snow Queen; Morgan Hanson, 2nd runner up, Miss Webster; Clare Van Dover, 4th runner up, Miss Milbank, and Taylor Schlechter, Miss Congeniality from Miller.