Two lucky kids beat out the rest to be crowned as VIPs in the German Valley community.
Every year at German Valley Days, the community looks forward to the Little Miss and Little Mister German Valley pageant, where children use their good looks, wit, and sweet dance moves to earn the crown.
Everyone had a good time, but in the end only two winners could be chosen, and the crowns went to five-year-old Xairyn Goddeke and six-year-old Joseph Kearns.
The June 9 competition at Ben Miller Park was stiff this year, with five lovely ladies and four handsome gentlemen showing up to win.
For the ladies, this included Sabelia Collis, Xairyn Goeddeke, Ellie Joy Hoster, Cara Pals, and Shannon Pals. For the gentlemen, Kaleb Bergin, Joseph Kearns, Colson Lamm and Asher Shurtleff came out to compete.
Before the competition could begin, however, the crowd got the chance to honor 2016 Little Miss and Mister Karissa Shurtleff and Cody Brown one last time.
The pair were interviewed by the competition emcee Colin Rust, a German Valley native who works as a fourth grade teacher at Brookdale Elementary, Naperville.
Karissa and Cody agreed that being little celebrities was fun, and their favorite part was riding in parades, but they were ready to relinquish the crowns.
“What’s it like to have to step down as Little Miss and Mister?” asked Rust.
“It’s a little sad,” said Karissa. “I’m glad,” said Cody, getting laughter from the crowd.
With a final goodbye from the 2016 winners, the 2017 contestants were ready to strut their stuff, beginning first with a meet and greet round.
Each child got to come forward and tell the crowd a little about him or herself.
While listeners learned a few differences - such as Ellie Joy having 13 pets, or Joseph loving time on his tablet - almost every child agreed that nothing beats a swimming pool in the summertime.
Shortly after meet and greet, the contestants all took stage to entertain the crowd with a dance number, set to “Fun, Fun, Fun” by the Beach Boys.
The festivities didn’t end there, however, as there was a final question and answer round to really pick the brains of the children.
Laura Barndt, Carron Rodriguez, and Sara Schoph served as judges, and according to them, several factors go into choosing the perfect Little Miss and Mister.
“They need to have a stage presence, show charisma and personality, be able to answer questions, and be comfortable; they’re going to be making appearances, and we don’t want anyone who might be overwhelmed,” said Rodriguez.
As for the parents, they has nothing but joy for their children.
“I’m very proud of my daughter,” said Xairyn’s mother, Jodi Goeddeke.
“He worked very hard, and we’re just so happy and proud of him,” said Amanda Brockmeier of her son Joseph.