by Richard Lamb–Advance Editor
A new Miss Nautical Coast will be crowned Friday as the pageant returns to the Rogers Theater. The pageant begins at 7 p.m. with tickets on sale at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The four candidates for the title are Sophia Mina, who will be a senior at Rogers City High School (RCHS) in the fall; Callie Rhode, also a senior-to-be at RCHS; Morgan Bruning, a 2023 graduate of RCHS; and Sofya Hincka, who will be a senior at Posen High School (PHS).
With four competing for the Miss Nautical Coast title, Peyton Gohl is the only candidate for the Teen Miss title. She is a resident of Presque Isle and a student at Alpena High School.
Last year’s queen, Elizabeth Romel, a 2022 graduate of PHS who currently studies at Alpena Community College where she is a member of the college’s softball team, will have the honor of crowning her successor on the stage of the theater. She has had a memorable year representing the festival, the county and the pageant.
“As a little girl, I had the dream of one day wearing a crown, as many girls do. I dreamed of being crowned and waving in the parades as a real-life princess. As I got older, sneakers and cleats replaced the princess dream. I was a highly competitive athlete and an even more competitive student throughout high school. As sports dominated my lifestyle, I came to the realization that I was not a ‘pageant girl’ mostly because I never thought to have a side of myself that wasn’t on a court or field. Following the end of my sports career and graduation, I was eager to find one more possible scholarship opportunity,” the queen said.
“A Miss Nautical Coast 2022 flier was presented to me and I decided to take the chance on myself. Never would I have imagined being crowned with such an honored title.”
Elizabeth is the daughter of Ariane and John Romel of Posen.
For many years the pageant, known as the Miss Rogers City, Nautical City Queen’s pageant from 1977-2018, was staged at Rogers City High School (RCHS). The pageant went through some changes in recent years by inviting all girls in the entire county of eligible age to enter and it was given a new name. Hentkowski Funeral Home hosted the event the past two years that did not include a talent portion. This year on the big stage the talent competition returns along with a new event called the fashion walk. The candidates will have the opportunity to show off their own style with outfits of their own choosing.
Missy Bannon, Nicole Bannasch and MiKaela Bannon are the directors of the pageant and MiKaela Bannon will again serve as mistress of ceremonies for the event and will choreograph the parade of candidates to open the event.
The candidates will be judged on an interview, artwork, fashion runway, talent, evening gown and onstage conversation. The new Miss Nautical Coast stands to win at least $2,000 in scholarship money plus gifts offered by local merchants that she will share with the other contestants. The queen and her court will reign over the 2023 Nautical City Festival that begins Aug. 1.
The theater hosted the 2008 event that featured four contestants for the title of Miss Rogers City won by Jordyn Lamb, who was entering her junior year at RCHS at the time.
Sponsors for theater rental expense and printed programs are Presque Isle Electric & Gas, Huron State Bank, E.H. Tulgestka and Sons, Inc. and Cadillac Products Automotive Company.