Miss Norway 2024 crowned in Brooklyn

Norwegian Christian Home hosts 66th annual event

The Norwegian Christian Home and Health Center (NCHHC) once again played host to the Miss Norway of Greater New York pageant in its Arthur Nilsen Banquet Hall Saturday afternoon to a group of approximately 50 spectators. 

From left: Miss Norway 2024, Amanda Luzniak, and Miss Heritage, Grace Reinertsen.

The event consisted of five ladies of Norwegian descent — Katherine Chuliver, Amanda Luzniak, Kirstin Elise Nilsen, Grace Reinertsen, and Baylyn Shankman. 

However, it was 26-year-old Luzniak, from Roxbury, N.J. who ultimately walked away with first prize at the 66th annual event — receiving one roundtrip ticket to Norway, a two-piece luggage set, and a Norwegian rosemaled plate. 

Ally Hesthag, Miss Norway 2023, with her parents.

“This is a surreal experience,” Luzniak said. “And this is all for my grandparents, who I really wish could be here.” 

In addition to Miss Norway, Grace Reinertsen, 24, from Staten Island, N.Y., received the Miss Heritage of Greater New York 2024 award — and was the recipient of a Tuscarona Inn and Conference Center weekend trip, a wooden plaque, and a Norway sweater. 

Amanda Luzniak, Miss Norway 2024, being crowned by last year’s winner, Ally Hesthag.

“This feels incredible,” Reinertsen gushed. “I’m so very happy to be representing my culture, representing the pride I have for my culture, and making my family proud.” 

Arlene Rutuelo, chair of the Miss Norway of Greater New York Committee, and co-chair of the Norwegian Day Parade Committee, pointed out that the contest is extremely important to the Norwegian-American community.

Spectators displaying their Norwegian attire.

“We are trying to train the younger generations that have Scandinavian heritage to cultivate a knowledge of it — to look at their grandparents — to look at the beauty of their culture,” Rutuelo said, adding that it’s important to know where your family comes from and what it is that they did and do.

Rutuelo also explained that what is looked for in contestants (who typically range in age from 17 to 26) is not simply beauty, but the whole person — in addition to aspects of their education, what they know about the culture, what their future plans are, and the like. 

2024 Miss Norway contestants (from left): Katherine Chuliver, Amanda Luzniak, Kirstin Elise Nilsen, Grace Reinertsen, and Baylyn Shankman.

In the first round of the contest, each contestant had three minutes to explain a bit about themselves, their background, and why they would be the right fit. 

For the second round, the judges had an opportunity to ask the ladies various questions in front of the audience, to get a clearer picture of who they are and what they’re about. 

George Jensen, chairman of the board at NCHHC, pointed out that, “While there are fewer Norwegians in the neighborhood these days, we are going to try and keep this tradition up as long as we can. And as long as we get contestants, we’ll have the contest.” 

The Miss Norway of Greater New York pageant is sponsored by the Norwegian-American 17th of May Committee of Greater New York, which also conducts the 17th of May Parade, which is slated to be held along Third Avenue, and then over to Leif Ericson Park on Sunday, May 19. It will be the group’s 70th anniversary parade.

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