Scarlett Conrad came to Southwest Florida from Germany two years ago to make a better life for herself.
And when her family comes to visit this coming week, they will be looking at the next Ms. Oktoberfest.
Conrad beat four other women for the crown, which was awarded Saturday at the German-American Social Club on Pine Island Road on Saturday.
Scarlett Conrad beat four other women for the Ms. Oktoberfest crown, which was awarded Saturday at the German-American Social Club on Saturday.
Conrad felt blessed to be part of the strong lineage of previous Ms. Oktoberfests, of which eight returned to be a part of. She also didn't think her German heritage hurt her chances.
"I did not expect to win because the others were so great. It's a fun time and we had so much fun," Conrad said. "I think my German heritage helped a little, but not the key. I think they saw my personality and smile and saw I was happy to do it."
Conrad, 26, will represent the club during its annual Oktoberfest, which will take place in late October, as well as the Gartenfests that happen in winter. She will also be on the float for the Edison Parade of Lights.
After answering two questions from host Steven Eichner, Conrad was crowned by last year's winner Nakita Egloff, who said being Ms. Oktoberfest for the past year has been nothing short of amazing.
"The club was so sweet and welcoming. They brought me right into the family. I usually worked Oktoberfest. But this year I got to talk with the guests and a lot of socializing," Egloff said.
"The new one shouldn't get caught up in it or be nervous. Just enjoy it, relax and have a good time. Everyone is so happy to see you."
Conrad was born in Frankfurt and raised in nearby Maintal. She earned a degree in business and economy in Germany and worked in marketing before moving to the U.S. two years ago.
"I enjoyed waking up to the sunshine. It's cold and a little gray there. It's a different life here. The heat doesn't bother me at all," Conrad said.
Today, she works as an office assistant and part-time as a hostess. She is also a notary and is studying to be a wedding planner. In her spare time, she volunteers at Golisano Children's Hospital, teaching arts and crafts.
Conrad's family won't miss out on the excitement when they arrive for their three-week vacation. Scarlett said she would show them the pictures and video of the event for them to enjoy. She thinks her family will love it.
Conrad also said she will enjoy her time as Ms. Oktoberfest and learn a lot about herself.
"I'm going to enjoy meeting all the people and growing as a person because it's normally not easy for me to speak in front of people. I'm going to have to work on that," Conrad said. "I want people to come and enjoy Oktoberfest."
For the second straight year, Amanda Dusick was first runner-up. Also competing were Chantelle Reed, Darvy Peden and Devane Thompson.
According to Teresa Kohl, co-chair of Oktoberfest who was in charge of the pageant, 14 women, between the ages of 21 and 45, applied to compete, of which six were selected (one woman was sick and unable to attend).
She said the decision gets more difficult every year.
"Every year is a tough choice for the judges, bit they find the right one. This is always a very exciting event and we look forward to making all the preparations for Oktoberfest," Kohl said. "Our members always respond."