This year's Miss Oktoberfest doesn't have a single drop of German blood running through her veins, but that didn't stop judges from awarding the official sash and tiara to the Italian-Irish beauty as the official American-German Club of the Palm Beaches good will ambassador and mascot.
Delray Beach resident Christine Haycook — sister to Michael Haycook, owner of The Grove restaurant — nabbed the traditional German dirndl, crown, and sash during the club's third annual pageant and reception gala on August 15, where she competed against ten other contestants. As part of the application process, Haycook wrote a one-page essay explaining what she intended to do for the club if she was crowned as the new Miss Oktoberfest for 2015.
As the winner, Haycook will be leading the charge as the club's goodwill ambassador, and will be on-site for all of the club's social gatherings and special events, including the upcoming annual Wine Fest and Oktoberfest celebrations.
Although contestants don't need to be of German decent to participate in the pageant, the girls must show an avid interest in German culture, as well as the American-German Club. Haycook fit the bill with her combined charm, intelligence, and beauty. The 32-year-old says her father inspired her with a love for German culture — a major selling point with the judges — something that compelled her to study the language throughout high school. She later majored in German at Davidson College, and through her studies was able to live with a family in Northern Germany while taking classes at Julius Maximilian University in Würzburg.
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"Since moving to the area three years ago I've been interested in everything the American-German Club has to offer," says Haycook, who hails from northern Florida. "Now, as Miss Oktoberfest, I'm looking forward to using my hospitality background to get people excited about the club, and help more people learn about what it has to offer the community."
Haycook will make her debut appearance during the American-German Club's September 11 annual wine festival and dinner dance. After that, the public can find her at the 42nd annual Oktoberfest celebration taking place on the club grounds October 9 through 11 and 16 through 18.
The good cheer doesn't stop there, however. The new ambassador says her first order of business once all the festivities are over will be to implement some community outreach events. As her brother's assistant and a full-time server at The Grove in Delray Beach's Pineapple arts district, she hopes to organize the American-German Club's first beer pairing dinner.
Prostto that, Miss Oktoberfest 2015.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.