Win a dream come true for Miss Strassenfest

Photos by Kaiti Sullivan/The Herald
2019 Miss Strassenfest Lydia Shepherd of Jasper, center, is congratulated by friends, Caroline Theil, left, Lindsey Mehringer and Maggie Getzin, all of Jasper, after winning the Strassenfest pageant at Redemption Christian Church in Jasper on Saturday. Shepherd was one of six contestants competing for Miss Strassenfest.


JASPER — An attentive audience at Redemption Christian Church in Jasper sat in silence as they awaited the results from the Miss Strassenfest Pageant Saturday night.

The crowd roared to life as the winner was announced.

“This is something I have always dreamed of winning,” said Lydia Shepherd, 2019 Miss Strassenfest. “I’ve always said if it was meant to be, it was meant to be, and after they announced I won, I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is real.’”

See a gallery of photos here

Shepherd, a 20-year-old from Jasper, claimed her seat on the Strassenfest court for the second time as she was named Junior Miss Strassenfest in 2013.

Shepherd, who studies elementary education at Indiana University, said she wouldn’t classify herself as a pageant girl, but she has enjoyed participating in community pageants.

“There are so many great girls that connect on a variety of levels,” she said. “We all come from different backgrounds, but we have one commonality, which is to help make Strassenfest the best it can be.”

As Miss Strassenfest, Shepherd will serve as an ambassador for the festival, which starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. Other responsibilities include scheduling events for the court and handing out trophies and ribbons to event winners. She will perform in one more pageant at the Miss Indiana Festival Pageant in January before hanging up her sash.

As Miss Strassenfest, Shepherd received $1,000 in scholarship money and numerous gifts from area businesses. First runner-up Sara Carpenter received $500 in scholarship money.

2019 Little Mister Strassenfest Liam Goeppner, 8, left, 2019 Miss Strassenfest Lydia Shepherd, 2019 Junior Miss Strassenfest Lilly Rasche, 13, and 2019 Little Miss Strassenfest Vivienne Gunselman, 8, all of Jasper, smile for a group photo after the Strassenfest Pageant at Redemption Christian Church in Jasper on Saturday.

Carpenter, 20, of Jasper, said it’s an honor to have the chance to represent the community.

“Here you are representing a community that puts their heart and soul into just being from Jasper, being proud to say they are from Jasper,” Carpenter said. “It’s amazing to get to say we are the community of the year.”

This is not Carpenter’s first time competing in a pageant. In 2017, she was named Miss Dubois County 4-H Fair Queen. Carpenter studies speech and hearing science at Butler University.

“We were just all back there talking about how amazing it is to get to know each other and how it stinks that all of us can’t get on court, but we made a great friendship,” she said. “It’s more than just a competition, it’s a way to get to know people in your community and that share similar values and want to represent an amazing town.”

Contestants competed in interviews and formal wear, as well as judging on their Just Whimsy outfits, which they picked out themselves from the boutique located on the downtown Square.

“I decided to enter to really get out of my comfort zone and build my confidence,” said 18-year-old Keregyn Masterson of Jasper, who was named second runner-up in the pageant. “I have never done anything like this.”

It was Masterson’s first time competing in the pageant. The 2019 Jasper High School graduate plans to attend Indiana University Southeast in the fall to study political science.

She said she put nearly 30 hours into preparing for her first pageant, which included making flashcards and walking around in high heels at home and at work.

“It gives me an opportunity to represent myself and my family,” the second runner-up said. “It also helps me show who I really am on the inside when I usually don’t get that opportunity very much.”

Pageant Winners

Miss Strassenfest

Winner: Lydia Shepherd

First Runner-up: Sara Carpenter

Second Runner-up: Keregyn Masterson

Miss Photogenic: Sara Carpenter

Miss Congeniality: Grace Truesdale

Junior Miss Strassenfest

Winner: Lilly Rasche

First Runner-up: Caroline Hanneman

Second Runner-up: Zoey Birkle

Miss Photogenic: Zoey Birkle

Miss Congeniality: Lilly Rasche

Little Miss

Winner: Vivienne Gunselman

First Runner-up: Maggie Hanneman

Second Runner-up: Emmy Schaefer

German Attire: Kenleigh Racicot

Little Mister

Winner: Liam Goeppner

First Runner-up: Grant Voegerl

Second Runner-up: Abe Hoffman

German Attire: Liam Goeppner

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