Olivia Goethals is more at home on the playing field than the pageant stage.
“I’m not a pageant girl. I’m more about sports,” she explained.
Still, the 2012 Geneseo High?School graduate decided to enter the Music Festival?Queen Pageant at the urging of her mother, Mary Schneider, and her younger sister, Isabel, 4.
“My little sister has always wanted to be in a pageant and my mom encouraged me to try it,”?she said.
On June 15, Goethals ended her first pageant with a win.
“It was a shock, actually. I joined the pageant just to have fun with my friends, and I won,” she said.
The Music Festival?Queen Pageant — an annual scholarship event sponsored by the Geneseo Rotary Club — is only open to Geneseo High?School senior girls who graduated in the same calendar year as the pageant.
Goethals said the pageant gave her a chance to spend time with her classmates before departing for college in the fall.
“I knew about half of the girls pretty well, and the other half I got to know better during the pageant,” she said.
Although the evening gown and sportswear portion of the pageant take place on the city park band shell stage during the evening; girls meet one-on-one with the judges the afternoon of the pageant for an interview.
“I was most nervous about the interview. I told myself to just take deep breaths and be myself,” said Goethals.
Judges Rob Tingley, Barb Bertelsen and Bailey Deitz questioned Goethals about her future plans, her softball career and even a bit about politics.
“I felt pretty confident after the interview,” said Goethals.
During the pageant itself, Goethals was focusing on the things she’d learned during rehearsal.
“I?never knew how to do the pageant turns on stage. I was thinking about that and my poise as I was walking across the stage ... I also had to remember to always keep smiling,” she said.
At the conclusion of the pageant, as the queen’s court was being announced, Goethals was a bundle of nerves.
“When they got to announcing the queen, I was shaking I was so nervous — then they called my name and I was really excited,” she said.
Her sister, Isabel, was equally excited.
“She was absolutely ecstatic. She loves my crown and has been wearing it and the sash,” explained Goethals.
In addition to Goethals, the 2012 Music Festival court includes: Kaci Storm, first runner-up; Brittany Mielke, second runner-up; Anna Mason, third runner-up; and Samantha Noble, fourth runner-up.
In their role as Music Festival royalty, the women helped present awards at the Maple City 4 race, spent time enjoying festival activities at the park and rode on a float during the parade.
Page 2 of 2 - “The parade was great. Little girls would point at us and say, ‘There’s the queen. There’s the princesses.’ They kept calling me Cinderella,” said Goethals.
As the 2012 Music?Festival Queen, Goethals received a $500 scholarship from the Geneseo Rotary?Club. She plans to use the money for books and tuition at North?Central?College in the fall.
The first and second runners-up received $200 Rotary scholarships, and the third and fourth runners-up were presented with $150 scholarships.
Additional pageant contestants were: Kelsi Ford, Chelsea Rahmus, Carley Johnson, Jade?Mariman, Hayley Henderson, Taylor Wise, Alexandria Radue and Alanna “Ally”?Rumler.