Another Miss Norway will be crowned come March 24.
The 63rd annual Miss Norway of Greater New York Contest will see another crop of young women vying for title of Miss Norway, an honor that includes a spot in the Norwegian Constitution Day Parade in Bay Ridge and a round-trip airplane ticket to Norway.
“It’s not a beauty contest. It’s more of a chance for them to explain how their Norwegian heritage influences who they are now and who they want to be,” said Lars Nilsen, co-chair of the Norwegian Immigration Association (NIA).
Nilsen explained that NIA limits the number of applicants to 12 to ensure each contestant gets proper consideration from the panel of five judges. To enter, an applicant must be a young, unmarried woman between the ages of 17 and 24, and have a parent or grandparent who is Norwegian. Applicants must also write an essay on their backgrounds and why they want to be Miss Norway.
During the competition, the contestants give a short synopsis of their backgrounds and explain why they are competing, followed by a questioning from the judges. Each judge reviews the applications before the competition, and questions are tailored to the contestant.
The judges picked so far for the competition are Anja-Christin Nielsen, the director of culture at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in New York City; Brian Andersson, the former commissioner of New York City Department of Records; Lene Samuelsen, Miss Norway 2016 and David Thorsen, the president of Danish Athletic Properties.
The first place winner will be crowned Miss Norway, and the second place winner will be crowned Miss Heritage.
“It’s a traditional thing and we emphasize that,” said Nilsen. As Norwegians assimilate to the United States and spread out, Nilsen said, it becomes more important to learn about and celebrate heritage, something that contestants do in the contest. “We still feel it’s a positive thing for the community.
“We’re just out here trying to get our piece of the pie,” said Nilsen. “Norwegians don’t really show up and thump their chests about what they do.”
The contest will be held at 2 p.m. in the Arthur Nilsen Banquet Hall at the Norwegian Christian Home and Health Center, 1250 67th Street. Tickets are $35 per adult and $15 per child. Applications for Miss Norway are still open until February 26. Find out more at niahistory.org.