The Queen of the Snow will reign over the 50th annual Iola Winter Carnival to be held Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 5-6.
The 2011 queen will be chosen from snow princesses Nalani Mules, Taylor Lashua, Teresa Sprangers and Morgan Oppor.
All four queen candidates are residents of Iola and currently seniors at Iola-Scandinavia High School.
Nalani Mules is the daughter of Thane and Julaine Mules. Her extracurricular activities include Student Council, president; Art Crew, president; senior class president; Spanish Club; Physics Club; National Honor Society; high honor roll; waitress and cook; head lifeguard; water aerobics and swim instructor.
“Coming from a very Norwegian family, I feel that the Winter Carnival is an excellent way to keep Norwegian traditions alive,” Mules stated. “This small-town tradition helps bring the community together in celebration of our heritage and cultural values.”
“Ever since I can remember, my grandparents and parents have attended the lutefisk supper, and I have spent a great deal of time either out at the ski hill watching my nephews compete or carving ice sculptures at the high school,” she continued. “These traditions are a great way to bring the community together.”
Mules feels her greatest asset as Queen of the Snow would be to bring even more community involvement to the Winter Carnival traditions.
“I feel that Winter Carnival is a great way to bring our small town together and that we should try to get more people to participate in these festivities,” she said. “With more of the community involved, the traditions are more likely to be carried out.”
Taylor Lashua is the daughter of John Lashua and Jodi Hansen-Kennealy. At school, she is involved in clubs, such as Art Crew, Student Council and Physics. She is also involve with soccer and enjoys participating in it because she likes the physical activity and being part of a team.
On Sunday mornings, she helps teach arts and crafts to Sunday school students at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. She has been a waitress at the Crystal Cafè since the eighth grade. She also works as a front desk attendant at the Iola-Scandinavia Community Fitness & Aquatic Center.
“I feel that (the waitress job) has enabled me to build a great work ethic along with strong social skills,” Lashua stated. “I like both my jobs because it allows me to meet many people from our community.”
Her academic and other honors include honor roll; Art Crew, president for two years; Student Council, vice president; and Physics Club, president. She was on the Prom Court, participated in the work co-op and earned Waupaca Art Show awards.
“The Iola Winter Carnival is a fantastic tradition because it reflects so many years of heritage, and it’s important that we keep the Norwegian activities and tradition alive,” she stated. “Iola is amazing for being such a small town and hosting such a great event.
“Since I was little I remember watching the ski jumping at the ski hill,” she recalled. “As I got older I enjoyed being able to participate in the ice sculpting contest and being a waitress at the lutefisk supper. These are fond memories I will always carry with me.
“It’s wonderful to bring the community together and share our lefse, lutefisk and good laughs with people from all over,” she added.
Lashua said she would be honored and excited if she was chosen to represent her community and Norwegian heritage as Queen of the Snow.
“I love Iola and all the people that make this town great,” she stated. “I am very friendly, outgoing and I enjoy meeting new people. I would be proud to promote the Iola Winter Carnival and participate in all the activities.”
Teresa Sprangers is the daughter of Mark and Lynn Sprangers. Her extracurricular activities include volleyball, team captain; softball; swim team; Student Council; and Leo’s Club. Her academic and other honors include National Honor Society, Badger Girls State, Prom Court and Homecoming Court.
“I believe Winter Carnival is a great community tradition because it brings the community together through many different activities, such as the lutefisk supper, ski jumping and ice sculpting,” Sprangers stated. “It also brings people from other communities. Winter Carnival is a time for Iola to celebrate its strong Norwegian heritage and show others the wonderful spirit of our small town.
“One of my greatest assets as Queen of the Snow would be that I would be carrying on a tradition in my family that was started with my grandparents and great-grandparents,” she stated. “I have also been serving food at the lutefisk supper ever since my mom trusted me to carry a hot plate. From working there all these years, I know all the hard work it takes to make this event a success.
“I am also a leader, a good student, and I would represent the community in a positive way,” she added.
Morgan Oppor is the daughter of Jeff Oppor. Her extracurricular activities include volleyball, basketball, softball, bowling, Leo’s and Student Council. Her academic and other honors include 2009 second team All-Conference for softball, 2010 first team All-Conference for softball, 2010 All-District for softball, 2010 MIP basketball and honor roll.
“Winter Carnival is a great tradition because it gets the community involved in some of the winter activities, and it gives people in the community a chance to learn a little more about our Norwegian heritage,” Oppor stated. “It also helps bring the community together and have a lot of fun while doing so.”
She believes her greatest asset as Queen of the Snow would be that she is good with talking to people and kids. “And I am always willing to learn more about my Norwegian heritage and where my family came from,” she said. “I have learned a lot from my grandparents from making lefse and rosettes to trying lutefisk. But being Queen of the Snow or even being on court will give me a chance to learn more from other people as well.”