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The Democrat and The Reporter are published weekly by Emmetsburg Publishing Company.  A combined subscription to The Democrat and The Reporter is $22.00 in Palo Alto County and adjoining counties.  Elsewhere in the United States, a combined subscription is $28.00.
Articles from The Democrat and The Reporter

Irish Vice-Consul To Visit Emmetsburg

St. Pat's O'Round The Loch Run To Be Held March 14

Twenty Contestants In 1998 Jr. Miss Pageant

St. Pat's Names Grand Marshall & Honorary Irishman

John McCain Named Honorary St. Pat's Parade Grand Marshall

Happenings At St. Pat's Headquarters

Jennifer Runneberg Crowned Miss Shamrock 1998

Brian Boru Pipe Band and
White Horse Mounted Patrol Highlight St. Pat's Parade

Four Little Ladies Crowned at 1998 St. Patrick's Junior Miss Pageant


Irish Vice-Consul To Visit Emmetsburg

Fiona Flood, Vice Consul, Consulate of Ireland in Chicago, will represent the Republic of Ireland in Emmetsburg on Sunday, March 8. She will attend the Miss Shamrock Pageant that evening.

When it was learned that visiting Irish Dignitary Paul Connaughton, T.D., would be unable to be in Emmetsburg for the March 8 pageants, dignitary chairman Art Weiland contacted the Irish Consulate in Chicago. He was informed that Fiona Flood would be available to represent the Republic of Ireland that evening, but she is unable to attend the Little Miss Shamrock Pageant in the afternoon.

Fiona Flood is the first female Vice Consul to be appointed to the Consulate of Ireland in Chicago. She is a native of Kells, County Meath, Ireland, and received her education at Dublin City University, studying languages and international marketing. She taught French, German and Irish in 1991, then for the next two years she was the sales and marketing executive with Mergon International, Ireland and the Netherlands. In 1994 Ms. Flood joined the Department of Foreign Affairs. She served as Protocol Officer in Protocol and Cultural Division, Department of Foreign Affairs, from 1994 to 1996, and joined the Anglo-Irish Division in 1997. She was appointed Vice-Consul, Consulate of Ireland, Chicago, in 1997. Fiona Flood will arrive in Mason City late Sunday afternoon, March 8, and arrive in Emmetsburg in time to attend the Miss Shamrock Pageant. Due to her busy schedule getting ready for the celebration in Chicago, Ms. Flood will leave Emmetsburg early Monday morning.


St. Pat's O'Round The Loch Run To Be Held March 14

Iowa Lakes Community College and the St. Patrick's Association is sponsoring the 18th Annual O'Round the Loch Scholarship Run. The event will take place Saturday, March 14 in Emmetsburg.

Registration by Friday, Feb. 27 is encouraged.

Check-in registration on March 14 will be from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Arthur and Audrey Smith Wellness Center gymnasium. All ages are welcome.

The O'Round the Loch Run will include three different races: a half marathon (13 miles) which begins 8:30 a.m., a 5K (3.1 miles), beginning 9:30 a.m., and a Fun Run/Walk (1.5 miles) which will also start at 9:30 a.m. There will be an awards ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Smith Center.

The O'Round the Loch Scholarship Run is part of the annual St. Pat's Celebration in Emmetsburg. Events include a parade and banquet, Saturday, March 14. For more information, contact the St. Pat's headquarters in Emmetsburg at 712-852-4326.

Source: The Reporter, page 1, February 24, 1998


Twenty Contestants In 1998 Jr. Miss Pageant

Twenty young "colleens" are entered the 1998 Junior Miss Pageant. The pageant will be held 2 p.m., Sunday, March 8 at the Emmetsburg Middle School auditorium. These talented girls will vie for the titles of Little Miss Shamrock, Little Lassie, and Irish Miss.

The pageant is directed by Jill Harson and Kathy Hasbrouck and is sponsored by the St. Patrick's association. Judges make their selections based on a pre-pageant question, talent, appearance and overall presentation.

Little Miss Shamrock

Seven youngsters, ages 5-7, are entered in the Little Miss Shamrock contest.
Contestants are:

Malorie Jade Girres, 7, will be singing for her talent. Malorie is the daughter of Doug and Staci Girres of Graettinger.

Janna Jo Hoch, 6, is the daughter of Jim and Hazel Hoch of Emmetsburg. For her talent, Janna will sing.

Jenny Jo Hoch, 6, will also sing for her pageant talent. Jenny is also the daughter of Jim and Hazel Hoch.

Brittany Merrill, 7, is the daughter of Doug and Marje Merrill of Emmetsburg. For her talent, Brittany will sing.

Paige Evans, 7, will be doing a tap dance routine for the Little Miss Shamrock Pageant. Paige is the daughter of Doug and Sue Evans of Terril.

Amanda Heinrichs, 5, is the daughter of Randy and Lisa Heinrichs of Estherville. Amanda's talent will be a dance routine.

Bridget Rouse, Curlew, will sign for her talent, Bridget, 7, is the daughter of Terry and Pam Rouse.

Little Lassie

Eight young ladies, ages 8-11, will compete for the title of 1998 Little Lassie.
Little Lassie contestants are:

A tap dance routine is the talent of Kelly Bollig, 11, Fenton. Kelly is the daughter of Mark and Teresa Bollig.

April Corley, 8, Emmetsburg, will be singing as her talent. She is the daughter of Pat and Dawn Corley.

Kayla Helget, 11, Estherville, will be performing a clog routine during the Little Lassie contest. Kayla is the daughter of Tim and Diane Helget.

Melissa Hinners, 11, will be singing as her talent. Melissa is the daughter of Randy and Cheri Hinners of Emmetsburg.

A piano selection will be performed by Molly Hurley, 9. She is the daughter of Rick and Johnny Hurley, Curlew.

Jaimee Kerber, 8, Emmetsburg, will sing a song for her talent. Jaimee is the daughter of Jeff and Robin Kerber.

Debbie Kohlhaas, 11, Livermore, also sing a song. She is the daughter of Mary and Norm Kohlhaas.

Jennifer Noonan, 9, will be singing a song as her talent. Jennifer is the daughter of Ed and Marilyn Noonan.

Irish Miss

Irish Miss contestants range in age from 12 to 16-years-old. Five young ladies are competing for the title this year.
They are:

Heather Clinton, 15, daughter of Mary Clinton, Algona, will be doing a dance routine as her talent.

Dena Sample, 14, Emmetsburg, will be performing a clog dance. Dena is the daughter of Dick and Judy Sample.

Ali Bergmann, 15, Graettinger, will be singing a song as her talent. Ali is the daughter of Gary and Joyce Bergmann.

Danie Patin, 14, Estherville, will be doing a dance routine as her talent. She is the daughter of Robert and Denise Patin.

Storytelling will be the talent of Deanna Kohlhaas, 14. Deanna is the daughter of Norm and Mary Kohlhaas of Livermore.

Other performances will be given by 1997 Little Miss Shamrock, Kayloni Moore, Ringsted, doing a humorous speech; 1997 Little Lassie, Beth Thompson, Emmetsburg, who will sing, and 1997 Irish Miss, Sharrey Fank, Emmetsburg, who will give a humorous reading.

The Irish Dancers, under the direction of Mary Drew Kohlhass, will also entertain.  Dancers are: Sadie Hill, Melissa Hinners, Molly Hurley, Daniel Kenny, Abbie Lang, Valerie Mattice, Stephanie Peterson and BrieAnn Reedy.

The public is invited to attend the 1998 Junior Miss Pageant. There will a $1 admission for all ages.

Source: The Reporter, page 1, February 24, 1998


St. Pat's Names Grand Marshall & Honorary Irishman

Emmetsburg Mayor Norlyn Stowell has accepted the honor of being Grand Marshall for the 1998 St. Patrick's Celebration and Lyle Edwards, a Norwegian, has been named 1998 Honorary Irishman.

Stowell was selected Grand Marshall from nominations submitted by members of the community. The Honorary Irishman is selected by present and/or past board members of the St. Patrick's Association. Stowell and Edwards will attend the various functions of the three-day celebration March 13-15 and will be honored during the St. Patrick's Parade March 14.

Grand Marshall '98

"It was quite a surprise when they called and asked us to do that," Stowell said. "it will be a real honor."

As Mayor of Emmetsburg, Norlyn Stowell has ridden in the St. Patrick's Parade for ten years. But recent years have seen an increased involvement in the annual celebration.

"I've become a convert regarding the St. Patrick's Celebration," Stowell said. "St. Pat's is an opportunity for this community to capture the advantages of our Irish heritage. The celebration presents a good chance to get 10,000 people of Irish heritage to stop, rather than 10,000 people to shop in our community. As we know, tourism represents one-third of Iowa's business."

Stowell is looking to find a niche or a way to make the Emmetsburg even more positive. "The relationship of Emmetsburg and Irish Patriot Robert Emmetsburg is a natural if we all work together and make it that way," he said.

Mayor Stowell is continually looking for ways to make the Emmetsburg community a little stronger and a little better. Over the years he has done his share through involvement in city government and volunteering his time and talents with agencies such as the St. Patrick's Association.  When Gerard Collins was named Irish Dignitary came to Emmetsburg for a longer than usual stay, Norlyn and Jean Stowell opened their home and their hearts for the community's international guests. The Collins stayed with the Stowells in their home.

"We have opened our home to the dignitary and his wife for the past four or five years," Stowell said. "it gave us an opportunity to invite guests from the community and have them meet our guests in a relaxed atmosphere. It has really been fun."

That first year that the Stowells were involved with the visiting dignitary, Mayor Stowell was scheduled to address the high school government class. He took the visiting dignitary along. The next year, when Jim Higgins was the dignitary, the visit to the high school expanded to a convocation of all the students.

The Stowells also had an opportunity to take the community's Iris guests to church services at the Protestant churches. "That as a great opportunity for our guests to relate to the community in yet another way, Stowell said.

And Mayor Stowell has traveled to Des Moines with the visiting Irish Dignitary when he addresses the Iowa Legislature. All of this brings increased exposure to the community of Emmetsburg, Stowell says, in an effort to make our community stronger.

This year's visiting dignitaries, Paul and Bernadette Connaughton, will be in Emmetsburg a shorter period of time than past guests.  Norlyn, recovering from recent surgery, and Jean, starting a new job, will be unable to open their home to the Connaughtons.

Norlyn Stowell is a "little" Irish (his great grandmother was a McDermott), but he is always an Irishman for the St. Patrick's Celebration. Norlyn's wife, Jean, is half Irish. Norlyn is associated with Cottington, Stowell & Stillman Insurance Agency in Emmetsburg.

Honorary Irishman

Lyle Edwards is a lifetime Palo Alto County resident, worked 19 years for the U.S. Postal Service and is 100-percent Norwegian.  But on St. Patrick's Day he, like most other people in Emmetsburg, is 100-percent Irish.

In the early days of the St. Patrick's Celebration, McCain and Girard could be found in just about any pub making plans for the celebration. They were at the bowling alley one night and Edwards was bowling with his team when he was approached about who would make a good emcee for the first Miss Shamrock Pageant. Edwards was active with an area barbershop group and knew that Dick Johnson (a former Emmetsburg resident who had been active with the barbershop group, and then associated with a Fort Dodge radio station) would be good. He could not only be emcee, but could provide entertainment as well.

"We had the first Miss Shamrock Pageant at the theatre downtown," Edwards recalls. "Dick had his own quartet and it came off pretty good." The first two pageants were held at the theatre before it was moved to Corrigan Hall when the Jaycees took over and Lyle was in charge of entertainment.

That first year, 1966, Dennis Day (a popular part of the Jack Benny Show) was scheduled to be in Emmetsburg. At the last minute they got the message Day was "too sick to attend" and they pulled in Frank Fontain (Crazy Gugenheim). They had to bring in a band out of Des Moines and Fontain got to Emmetsburg late, then rehearsed behind closed curtains while the audience waited. It was most memorable.

"We had some entertainment that turned out to be big names, but were just starting out," Edwards recalled. "We had Lawrence Welk entertainers for a couple of years, then we decided to go with country groups because they had their own bands and we wouldn't have to hire a band out of Des Moines. Back then, though, the most we ever paid for entertainment was $4,000 to $5,000."

Lyle's list of entertainers (not necessarily in order) included: Joann Castle, Joe Feeney, Myron Floren, Natalie Nevens, Connie Smith, Little Jimmy Dickens, Porter Waggoner, Dolly Parton, Bill Anderson, Jean Shepphard, Hank Thompson, Crystal Gayle, Faron Young, Billy Walker, The Plainsmen, Homer & Jethro, Stonewall Jackson and LeRoy VanDyke.

Lyle Edwards provides entertainment of his own. A guitar player, he has played with local folks like Leonard Johnson and Rosie Argabright, Bill Terry, Dean Potter and Dawayne Kinnetz. Just two years ago Lyle and a group from Decorah played with Garrison Keillor at Nordicfest. That group was also asked to play at Iowa's Sesquicentennial Celebration in Des Moines.

As Honorary Irishman, Lyle and his wife, Betty, will not have to perform. They will enjoy all of the festivities of the weekend celebration. Edwards quips, "I'm 100-percent Norwegian, except for Betty. But I feel like I'm Irish, almost all of my friends are Irish."


John McCain Named Honorary St. Pat's Parade Grand Marshall

John McCain, the founder of the St. Patrick's Celebration in Emmetsburg, has been named Honorary Grand Marshall of the 1998 St. Pat's Parade. "This is the greatest pleasure I've ever had in my life," McCain said when he was informed of the St. Pat's board decision.

Mick Conlon, chairman of the St. Pat's board, said, "If it were not for John's idea back in 1961 to have a parade of a few 'Irishmen' down Broadway, St. Pat's would not be what it is today." And it was in 1961 that John McCain decided a few Irishmen should have a parade. He called newspaper publisher Gib Knudson and asked for his assistance. Then McCain gathered all the Irish descendants he could, lined then up in front of the statue of Robert Emmet and Knudson took a photo to kick off the celebration.

"I only had three weeks to get things organized," McCain recalled. "I ordered green derbys, canes and green ties for everyone and we had our parade on St. Patrick's Day." From that small beginning, the idea mushroomed with the assistance of McCain's friend, the late Gary Girard. The two sat in a local pub and dreamed up ideas galore. "This celebration has really done a lot for Emmetsburg," McCain said. "We never expected this thing would get this big, but we knew it had potential. The people of Emmetsburg have kept it alive." The antics McCain and Girard pulled and the blarney they spread have become legends over the years. Their canned blarney became so potent they had to develop blarney repellent. They collaborated on many ideas that put Emmetsburg on the map.

Irishman Michael Grimes found John McCain and offered his assistance with the celebration. Grimes was working in Ames, teaching at Iowa State University, and he had friends at WOI radio. "When Michael came to Emmetsburg the people really liked him," McCain said. "They liked the Irish brogue and he walked around the town visiting with everyone. He told them he would be back for St. Patrick's Day."

McCain recalls the year that WOI called to do an interview right before the parade. "It was bad weather; it was snowing and there was thunder. But, when I talked on the radio I told them the sun was shining in Emmetsburg. There was snow 25 miles to the north (Estherville), snow 25 miles to the south (Pocahontas), snow 25 miles to the cast (Algona) and snow 25 miles to the west (Spencer), but the Luck of the Irish was making the sunshine in Emmetsburg."

McCain credits Grimes with getting the first Irish Dignitary to come to Emmetsburg. Noel LeMass was the first distinguished guest from Ireland and there have been many Irish dignitaries since then. It was also through the efforts of McCain and Grimes that Emmetsburg was named Sister City of Dublin, Ireland. And, Grimes was responsible for getting the Blarney Stone to Emmetsburg. The McCain family has been in contact with Michael Grimes and he may be in Emmetsburg for the 1998 celebration.

The Irishman, McCain, and the Frenchman, Girard, were honored as St. Pat's Parade Grand Marshalls in 1982. "That day (in 1982) when we got off the reviewing stand, I said to Girard, 'I think we've created a monster.' We never expected this thing would get this big," McCain said.

In 1982, McCain and Girard said, "It's great to look back after all these year and see it's still community's Irish 'That as a great


Happenings At St. Pat's Headquarters

Retired plant superintendents, vacationing in the South, are being summoned home, along with laid off workers, to help fill the many orders arriving at the Blarney Canning Factory. The supply is diminishing rapidly, creating a crisis at the plant. Emmet Thompson, a former Emmetsburg resident now living in California, knows first hand the excellent quality of the blarney. He is expecting his large order to be filled before March 17th.

Gold medals will be awarded to winners of the various races, following the O'Round the Loch Run, sponsored by Iowa Lakes Community College. The medals, placed around the necks of the winners, are none other than our own Robert Emmet commemorative dollars, attached to colorful red, white and blue ribbons. Money derived from this event will be applied to scholarships from the college. Entry forms are available at the Headquarters.

The Association has taken another giant step forward into the hi tech world -- a full page on the internet. Thanks to Kevin Kelly of Cedar Rapids, you can find us under the St. Pat's, Emmetsburg, heading at: www.activemed.com

Lyndon Griffin, while in Emmetsburg for a brief visit, stopped at the Bed and Breakfast where he was told some pertinent facts about Robert Emmet. While viewing the statue he was very much impressed with the fine sculpture and the story of why Emmet's likeness was erected in this small town. Griffin is an entertainer from Bloomington, Minn., who specializes in Irish Folk Music. He will appear at the annual banquet on Saturday night, March 14. A portion of his program will be dedicated to Robert Emmet.

More chairs, where you can sit and relax at the Headquarters, were donated in memory of Don Kelly. The computer room chairs were a gift of Tommy Mehan.

Lest we forget!  John McCain, whose brainstorm started this glorious celebration, lies gravely ill.  Let us all remember him in our prayers.  [A sad note:  Mr. McCain passed away on February 27 and will be laid to rest on March 3.  He was a co-founder of the St. Patrick's Association and a great promoter of the city of Emmetsburg and its cultural heritage. He will be remembered.]


Jennifer Runneberg Crowned Miss Shamrock 1998

Jennifer Jane Runneberg was crowned Miss Shamrock 1998 in Emmetsburg Monday evening.  The pageant was originally scheduled for Sunday, March 8, but was delayed due to winter weather.  Six young ladies, representing area high schools, participated in the Miss Shamrock Pageant.  They were judged on stage presentation in street clothing, performance of talent,and formal wear presentation.   Judging was also based on a personal interview and a question that was answered on stage.

Jennifer Runneberg is a 17-year-old senior at Laurens-Marathon Community High School. In addition to being crowned Miss Shamrock, she also received the Miss Congeniality Award, which was voted on by other contestants.  For the talent portion of the pageant, Jennifer did a dramatic reading, a story of death and resurrection in modern metaphor, called "Julie."

In school, Jennifer is active in speech and drama, vocal and jazz band, and sports. Following graduation, she plans to attend the University of Iowa to study business and marketing. As Miss Shamrock she received a $200 scholarship.  Jennifer is the daughter of James and Debra Runneberg.

First runner-up was Heather Higgins, the 18-year-old daughter of Rich and JoAnn Higgins.  Heather is a senior at Emmetsburg High School. For the pageant, Heather sang "My Heart Will Go On" from the movie "Titanic." She received a $150 scholarship.

Second runner-up was Ellie Nelson, a senior at Ruthven-Ayrshire Community School.   She is the daughter of Al and Linda Grange and Dave and Shelly Nelson. For the pageant, Ellie sang "The Little Damozel." She received a $100 scholarship from the St. Patrick's Association.

Additional contestants were Dawnielle Brown, representing Graettinger Community High School;  Amanda Powers, representing Emmetsburg High School, and Amber Schmidt, representing Laurens-Marathon Community High School.

Miss Shamrock 1998 will be the guest of honor at a reception for guests and dignitaries this Friday, March 13, and attend the Ceili Fun Night that evening. She will ride in the famous St. Patrick's Parade Saturday afternoon and attend the St. Pat's Banquet that evening. Miss Shamrock will represent the St. Patrick's Association and Emmetburg throughout the year. 


Brian Boru Pipe Band & White Horse Mounted Patrol
Highlight St. Pat's Parade

The Brian Boru Pipe Band from St. Paul, Minn., will return to Emmetsburg for the St. Patrick's Parade this Saturday, March 14.  It has been ten years since the pipes and drums have been heard coming down Broadway with the parade.  In 1988 the Brian Boru received the first place Judge's Award.

The appearance of the Brian Boru is being sponsored by Emmetsburg tavern owners and Celtics Beverage Company. Following the parade they will visit many businesses in the community and visit with the hundreds that gather in Emmetsburg to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

Another highlight of the parade will be the White Horse Mounted Patrol, an organization within the Abu Bekr Shrine Temple in Sioux City. The equestrian unit of beautiful white horses will march in the parade, under the sponsorship of Kerber Milling and Hawkeye Sow Company, Emmetsburg. [Note add after publication:  Due to inclement weather, the White Horse Mounted Patrol was unable to participate in the parade.]

Theme of the 1998 St. Patarick's Parade is "Legends of Ireland." Over 120 units are expected for the 38th Annual Parade. Pre-parade begins at 1 p.m. and the parade at 1:30 p.m.

Four Little Ladies Crowned at 1998 St. Patrick's Junior Miss Pageant

It was a standing-room-only crowd at the 1998 St. Patrick's Junior Miss Pageant this week. The pageant was postponed from the weekend due to winter weather, but the girls were given a warm reception by the audience.

Little Miss Shamrock is Amanda Heinrichs, the five year old daughter of Randy and Lisa Heinrichs of Estherville. Her talent presentation for the pageant was a dance routine to the selection "A Future Miss America." There were seven little colleens in the Little Miss portion of the pageant.

The 1998 Little Lassie is Molly Hurley. She is the nine-year-old daughter of Rick and Johnny Hurley of Curlew. At the pageant Molly played a piano solo, "Sea Mist," for the talent portion. There were five young ladies competing for the crown.

Irish Lassie, 1998, is 11-year-old Kelly Bollig of Fenton. She is the daughter of Mark and Teresa Bollig. Her talent was a tap dance to the music "Jail House Rock." There were four girls competing in this category.

The 1998 Irish Miss is Danie Patin of Estherville. Danie performed a Celtic dance from "Riverdance" to earn the title. She is the 14-year-old daughter of Bob and Denise Patin. Four young teens performed in this category.

The queens were crowned by Norlyn Stowell, St. Pat's Parade Grand Marshall and Mayor of Emmetsburg.

Special entertainment was provided during the evening by the three title holders from the 1997 pageant and by Emmetsburg's Irish Dancers.


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