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Trio takes Viking Fest crowns

POULSBO — Miss Viking Fest 2003 Jessica Styron commented Saturday that she’d made two good friends in her princesses Megan Brose and Ashley Ogle over the last year.

It looks like the new Miss Viking Fest Lauren Hoffman is starting out her year one step ahead of her predecessor.

Hoffman was named the 2004 Miss Viking Fest at the fifth annual Miss Viking Fest Pageant April 24. Jessica Endresen and Crystal Henderson — Hoffman’s two good friends — were named the new Viking Fest Princesses.

“The three of us are best friends so it’s so ironic we all won,” Endresen commented after the crowning.

The three friends running together was partially the work of Henderson, the only returner from last year’s bank of Miss Viking Fest hopefuls.

“It was so much fun last year so this year, I dragged my friends into it,” Hoffman said.

The three were chosen from a group of six Poulsbo area women who were vying for the title. They were judged Saturday in on-stage interviews, impromptu questions, an evening gown competition and two-minute speeches about Viking Fest.

Hoffman, 16, a junior at North Kitsap High School, got the audience laughing with her speech. Dressed as a car salesman from Liberty Bay Auto, complete with mustache and cowboy hat, she extolled the virtues of the celebration. She said if she had to pick a favorite part of the annual festival, it would be the pancake breakfasts, food and fireworks.

“Viking Fest is not just fun, it celebrates Norway’s Constitution Day and I guarantee it’s got something for everyone,” she commented.

Hoffman is a member of the Zero Gravity dance team and takes hip-hop, lyrical and break dance, volunteers at St. Olaf’s child Care and attends her church youth group. After Saturday’s pageant, she said she was in shock over being named the queen of Poulsbo’s largest annual event.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Hoffman said of what she thought when her name was called. “Everyone did so well and so wonderful. This is incredible.”

Henderson, 16, a junior at North Kitsap High School was in tears after receiving her crown Saturday night. The new Viking Fest Princess is involved in gymnastics and the junior float committee. She said she was overjoyed to finally win a crown, especially since her two good friends will share the year with her.

“I was shocked. It was wonderful,” she commented. “I wanted to make court so badly last year. It’s something I’ve always wanted.”

Endresen, 16, a junior at North Kitsap High School, is involved in Key Club International, gymnastics and the Suquamish UCC and her hobbies include traveling, music, and art. Mom, County Commissioner Chris Endresen, said she has a photo on her office desk of her daughter at a Viking Fest parade years ago posing with that year’s Miss Viking Fest and wearing the titleholder’s crown and sash.

The new princess said getting to be part of the court was definitely something she’d hoped for.

“I’ve always looked up to the three royalty and thought, ‘How cool would that be?’” Endresen said.

Other awards given Saturday night included:

•The first-ever Doug McKay Scholarship — Endresen

•Top ticket sales — Henderson

•Most raffle tickets sold — Henderson

•Director’s Award — Allexondra Noble

•Scholastic Achievement — Teresa Scott

•Speech Award — Hoffman

•Miss Congeniality — Hoffman

The new Miss Viking Fest court will make numerous appearances leading up to and during the 36th annual Viking Fest, which takes place May 14-16 at the Poulsbo waterfront. Throughout the year, the court will also travel to other festivals around the region. For more information about this year’s Viking Fest, go to www.vikingfest.org.

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