September 1, 2017

UW-Superior student rules as Rodeo Queen

Kristiina Thums, a junior from Finland, Minn., majoring in Instrumental Music Education at UW-Superior, is serving as the 2017 Great Northern Classic Rodeo Queen.

Kristiina Thums, a junior from Finland, Minn., majoring in Instrumental Music Education at UW-Superior, is serving as the 2017 Great Northern Classic Rodeo Queen.

Kristiina Thums named Great Northern Classic Rodeo Queen

With the Great Northern Classic Rodeo set to begin today at the Head of the Lakes Fairgrounds in Superior, one University of Wisconsin-Superior student is playing an important part in the event. Kristiina Thums, a junior from Finland, Minn., majoring in Instrumental Music Education, is serving as the 2017 Rodeo Queen in addition to several other duties.

“I have been a volunteer with the Great Northern Classic Rodeo for 11 years,” said Thums. “In addition to being a member of the drill team, I also sing the national anthem.”

The Great Northern Classic Rodeo is a non-profit organization with all volunteer workers. The annual three-day rodeo takes place every Labor Day Weekend with the money raised from the event being donated to organizations such as the American Cancer Society. The Friday opening event will be Tough Enough to Wear Pink. Sunday will be dedicated to veterans.

The path to becoming Rodeo Queen involved a written application and interview process with the final decision being made by Great Northern Classic Rodeo board members. Applicants are judged not only on riding experience, but also on volunteer service to the community and a willingness to be a representative for the rodeo. However, serving as Rodeo Queen is not all glamor. There are numerous responsibilities throughout the year with a great deal of work as the event grows closer.

“Throughout the year I serve as an ambassador for the rodeo and as a role model for young children,” said Thums. “I attend parades and other events to promote the rodeo and I have made appearances on the radio and television. Beginning in mid-June, our drill team begins weekly practices to prepare for our portion of the Rodeo performance. On the weekend of rodeo, I help with set up and tear down, organize kid’s games, prepare food for contestants, ride in the drill team, help out with our Miracle Rodeo event, and many other tasks.”

For Thums, her affection for the rodeo has been a lifelong experience.

“I have been riding and have had a love of horses since I was very young,” she said. “I love pretty much everything about the rodeo. Of course, being a member of the drill team is exciting. However, there is a special place in my heart for our Miracle Rodeo. In this event, we participate in rodeo games and other activities with children and adults with disabilities. This gives them the opportunity to experience rodeo events that they may not otherwise have. Rodeo is something I love and want to share with others.”

Friday and Saturday performances of the Great Northern Classic Rodeo begin at 7 p.m. with the Sunday show beginning at 2 p.m. The Head of the Lakes Fairgrounds are located at 4700 Tower Ave.

Kristiina Thums, a junior from Finland, Minn., majoring in Instrumental Music Education at UW-Superior, is serving as the 2017 Great Northern Classic Rodeo Queen.

Kristiina Thums, a junior from Finland, Minn., majoring in Instrumental Music Education at UW-Superior, is serving as the 2017 Great Northern Classic Rodeo Queen.

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