Rupp and 46 other young women representing communities from all over the state spent five days together in a once-in-a-lifetime program. The young ambassadors were all competing for the title “Queen of the Lakes.”

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Jeanine Rupp headed to the Twin Cities to be part of the annual Aquatennial celebration on July 20. She and 46 other young women representing communities from all over the state spent five days together in a once-in-a-lifetime program. The young ambassadors were all competing for the title “Queen of the Lakes.”
Although the girls were understandably nervous, the busy schedule for the week hardly gave them any time to worry. However, between meetings and interviews, there was still plenty of time to have fun.
On Monday night the ambassadors finished a day of interviews and their first judging session by taking a trip to Target Field. Along with getting to watch a great game, they also were able to tour different rooms and got to go through the Legends Club.
Rupp commented, “Touring Target Field was lots of fun because we got to see places we’d probably never see without paying a bunch of money, you know?”
Tuesday began with another judging session, this time held at the Minneapolis Women’s Club.
“I really enjoyed going to the Women’s Club,” Rupp remarked. “It was neat to hear about the history of the building and the club and how it’s impacted the city.”
Later in the day, the girls took a Segway tour of Minneapolis. On the tour they learned about the history of Minneapolis and its buildings. After that, they went on to the Past Princess Boat Cruise, where the candidates were able to talk to past royalty about their experiences as Aquatennial Ambassadors.
Wednesday, July 23, started out with what Rupp was most nervous for:  Meet the Candidates. The event was held in the City Center Atrium, and each of the ambassadors dressed in something that represented her community and gave a speech about it to the audience.
“There were people from practically every community to watch their candidate,” observed Rupp. ”The judges were there and so were the Aquatennial ambassadors and other past royalty. It was a very decent sized crowd, possibly over a thousand people.”
Rupp chose to presentthe walking bridge. Although she was nervous, in the end she said it was an awesome experience.
After Meet the Candidates, Rupp and the other young women began to prepare for the Torchlight Parade. They rode through the parade route on fire trucks wearing dresses in every color of the rainbow.
Thursday kicked off with the final judging session and rehearsal for the coronation ceremony. The girls then headed over to Lake Minnetonka to spend some time with the Power Boat Squadron.
“It was the perfect way to relax and have fun once judging was over! We were served lunch on an island on Lake Minnetonka. It was beautiful.”
The Commodore’s Party followed the trip to Lake Minnetonka. The new Commodore and captains of the Minneapolis Aquatennial were revealed at the party.
On Friday, July 25, the candidates were filmed in a short segment for Fox News, then attended the Emerson Leadership Brunch. At the brunch, the ambassadors were able to get to know women holding powerful jobs  and in strong leadership roles. Before the candidates knew it, it was time to crown the next Queen of the Lakes. This year’s coronation was the 75th Anniversary, so the event sold out. The ceremony highlighted all of the past Aquatennial royalty.
Although she was not crowned at the coronation, Rupp said that participating in the week was one of the best weeks of her life. It was filled with so many opportunities that she was glad to experience as well as being tons of fun.
“Seeing the new ambassadors selected that night was an amazing experience,” said Rupp. “It’s such a great opportunity for them, and they’re going to grow so much over the next year. They’ll do a great job representing the Minneapolis Aquatennial.”
Rupp raved about the food throughout the week. The candidates ate at restaurants all over Minneapolis, including Fogo de Chao. The final meal eaten together was the pizza party at the hotel after the coronation. It was one of Rupp’s favorite parts of the week. The girls got to change out of their gowns and into comfy clothes and talk with the newly crowned royalty.  According to Rupp, it was a great way to end the week!
Queen Jeanine is now done with her reign, but she will always hold her experience as Miss Western Fest close to her heart. Rupp will be returning as a sophomore to Concordia college in Moorhead this fall. She is pursuing her love of music to become a high school band director, just another role where she will be looked up to as a great leader.