Ever since starting her pageants, Greenbush native and 2015 Greenbush-Middle River graduate Morgan Berg has won an award that she takes much pride in, that of Miss Congeniality.
“I think it’s so important to be nice to everyone and to be friendly even though it’s a competition setting,” Berg said.
She won this award at her second consecutive Miss Minnesota pageant, a recognition she considered an honor.
“My goal this year was to win Miss Congeniality on a state level, which I was able to do just by making friends and kind of mingling with everyone. And it’s really my favorite part about Miss Minnesota week is meeting new girls, and we had a lot of new girls this year and so I was able to make a lot of new friends.”
Three of Berg’s pageant friends from this past year drove up from the Twin Cities to her birthday party a couple weekends ago, actions that showcase the type of relationships one builds during that Miss Minnesota pageant week.
Berg earned this second consecutive trip to the Miss Minnesota pageant by winning the Miss North Star pageant in September 2017, giving her the title of Miss North Star 2018.
At the Miss Minnesota pageant, June 13, 14, and 16, at Eden Prairie High School, Berg advanced into the top 11 yet again on the final day, having done so the year prior. Berg discussed this second Miss Minnesota pageant experience, the aspects of pageants she enjoys most, her recent local multiple sclerosis fundraiser, her pageant support system, and her future plans.
Before this second Miss Minnesota pageant experience, Berg competed in her first pageant, Miss Riverfest, back in 2014, where she didn’t claim the crown, but won several categories. A couple months later, she competed in another pageant and won its title—that of Miss Middle River.
She would pass on her crown and later compete in the pageant that started it all, Miss Riverfest, in 2016. This time around she took home the crown and the title of Miss Riverfest 2017, representing Thief River Falls and qualifying for her first Miss Minnesota pageant.
At this first Miss Minnesota pageant, Berg had the mindset of “let’s see how I do.” At her second Miss Minnesota pageant, she had a different mindset going into it, knowing what to expect this time around, how to conserve energy, and how to prepare herself for competition during what she considers an “intense” week.
“It’s a lot of, a lot of work and a very busy tight schedule during the week of Miss Minnesota and just being able to be there and experience it and realizing that we had each won a title to get there in the first place…”
She knows of many girls who she competed with at a local level who would have loved to been where she was– at the Miss Minnesota pageant. Berg realized and appreciated the opportunity she had.
“… It’s such a huge honor because not everyone gets a chance to do something like that,” Berg said.
Her Miss Minnesota week began on Sunday, June 10 with a check in. From there, contestants attend various events during the week-long visit. They visited a sponsor Indigo Organics, eating there. They also went to the Mall of America, spending time at GameWorks and, with their Northern Lights Princess at Crayola Experience. Berg’s Northern Lights Princess was again Kennedy Bakke.
The contestants also had a picnic at a director’s home, and on June 15– the day before the top 11 competed for the Miss Minnesota crown– attended a Crowns and Gowns Ball at the Radisson Blu at the Mall of America, honoring the seventieth anniversary of the crowning of Minnesota’s first Miss America, BeBe Shopp. Other Miss Minnesotas to win Miss America attended the event, including Gretchen Carlson– the new chairwoman of the Miss America Organization. Miss America 2018, Cara Mund, Miss Minnesota 2017, Brianna Drevlow, and Miss Minnesota Outstanding Teen 2017, Emily Schumacher attended, along with former Miss Minnesotas and former Miss Americas.
“That was a really spectacular event and a huge honor to get to experience,” Berg said, “because I’ve never been in a room with so many Miss Americas and Miss Minnesotas before.”
Asked if this experience was inspiring, Berg said, “A lot of these past titleholders got to share their legacy and seeing just the amount of respect in the room for these women, who then went on to do amazing things even after Miss America, was super inspiring, especially since the next day we all knew that one of us would be crowned Miss Minnesota.”
To see the full story, read the July 11 issue of The Tribune in print or online.