Ten women compete for Viking Fest crown

POULSBO — Two years ago, Miss Viking Fest Pageant organizer Kari McKinsey was hoping and praying for at least six contestants.

This year, too few vying for the crown won’t be a problem.

The sixth annual Miss Viking Fest Pageant gets under way at 6:30 p.m. April 23 at Christ Memorial Church in Poulsbo. Ten women ages 16-18 from the North Kitsap area will be vying for one of three crowns next weekend. The number of contestants is a huge jump from the six or seven who typically put their hats into the ring, said McKinsey.

“I’d like to think it’s because the pageant has a good name and reputation that the girls learn a lot and have a great experience,” she commented of what she thought made more run this year.

This year’s Miss Viking Fest contestants are:

• Contestant #1 — Amber Grable, a 17-year-old junior at North Kitsap High School. Grable is involved with NKHS lacrosse and F.C. Select soccer. She is sponsored by Le Soleil Tanning and Spa, Hansville Repair, Inc. and Susan and Timothy Brann

• Contestant #2 — Jessica “Cassie” Womack, a 17-year-old junior at North Kitsap High School. Womack is involved with youth group, honor society and various sports. She is sponsored by Liberty Bay Auto and Sluys Poulsbo Bakery

• Contestant #3 — Kaylee Ross, an 18-year-old senior at King’s West High School. Ross is involved in youth group, honor society, soccer, basketball and is senior class president. She is sponsored by Kitsap Paintsmith and Sluys Poulsbo Bakery.

• Contestant #4 — Jessica Hanna, a 16-year-old junior at North Kitsap High School. She is on the honor roll and involved in swim team and is a mentor. She is sponsored by Jane Woodward at John L. Scott, Gregory Keys, M.D. and Norbut Law Firm

• Contestant #5 — Megan Mueller, a 16-year-old junior at North Kitsap High School. Mueller is involved in drill team, drama and DECA. She is sponsored by Action Training System, Inc.

• Contestant #6 — Natalie Murphy, a 17-year-old junior at North Kitsap High School. Murphy is involved in band and drill team and is a student mentor. She is sponsored by Carrie Murphy at Frontier Bank, Susan’s Lighting Repair and Pacific Northwest Selections

• Contestant #7 — Theresa Scott, an 18-year-old senior at North Kitsap High School. Scott is an athletic trainer and involved with ASB, DECA and 4H. She is sponsored by Kitsap Physical Therapy and Sandra and David Scott.

• Contestant #8 — Kayla McAfee, a 16-year-old junior at North Kitsap High School. McAfee is involved in ballet, theater, writing and singing. She is sponsored by Leading Edge Miniature Horses, Anglican Church of St. Charles, Medical Services Northwest and Winslow Dental Group

• Contestant #9 — Hannah Gradisar, a 16-year-old junior at North Kitsap High School and Spectrum. Gradisar is involved with ASB, cheerleading and dance. She is sponsored by Poulsbo Sprouts, Inc.

• Contestant #10 — Nyssa Gray, a 16-year-old junior at North Kitsap High School and Spectrum. Gray is involved with drill team and is a recipient of the Presidential Academic Excellence Award. She is sponsored by Bayside Broiler and Poulsbo Perk

The annual pageant is a scholarship opportunity for local women from the Viking Fest Corporation, the organizer of the annual Viking Fest celebration. The new Miss Viking Fest will receive $1,000 while each of the two princesses will receive $500.

The competition will also include the award of the second $1,000 Doug McKay memorial scholarship, which is named after the late co-owner of Paradise Amusements, who was known for his community involvement. Contestants who opt to try for this scholarship come up with a community involvement plan following one of four chosen topics. Last year, competitors could choose any platform.

“We kind of wanted to narrow it down for them this year,” explained Kathi Foresee of the Viking Fest Organization. “(The contestants) seemed happy about that.”

Miss Viking Fest and the two Viking Fest princesses preside over the Syttende Mai event as well as represent Poulsbo at events throughout the state.

The 37th annual Viking Fest celebration takes place May 20-22 in downtown Poulsbo. For more information, go to

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