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Hammond woman named 'North Wind Princess'

Jill Volkert is crowned 2013 North Wind Princess at the St. Paul (Minn.) Winter Carnival. Volkert and her husband live in Hammond, but she grew up in White Bear Lake, Minn. and works in the Twin Cities.

When the crown was placed on her head, Jill Volkert said she was so shocked she didn't know what to do for a moment. Volkert was crowned 2013 Princess of the North Wind on Friday, Jan. 25 during the St. Paul (Minn.) Winter Carnival.

"I'm so excited to be a part of the Winter Carnival family," Volkert said.

Volkert, a native of White Bear Lake, Minn., now lives in her husband's (Bill Volkert's) native Hammond. She said she received a series of congratulations from home.

"From all my social media, I am receiving many congratulations," Volkert said.

Volkert is following in the footsteps of her sister, Sara Lindberg, who was North Wind Princess in 2011. Volkert said it was seeing her sister's experience as Winter Carnival Royalty that prompted her to apply.

"I saw all the great friendships that she made," Volkert said. "I am looking forward to just spreading the goodwill of the City of St. Paul and going around and supporting all of the local festivals and just meeting everyone."

Volkert said her sister, parents, husband and his parents have been her biggest supporters during the candidacy process.

"I had quite the cheering section there that night (coronation)," Volkert said. "From what I hear, they were screaming pretty loud."

This was Volkert's first experience with a pageant program. White Bear Lake did not have an ambassador program while she was growing up, she said.

The candidacy process was difficult, Volkert said, because it lasted three months and involved an average of five events a week. She said the time constraint this placed on her life was the hardest part of her candidacy.

The best part, Volkert said, has been the appearances she's made, especially for children or in nursing homes.

"We get more out of our appearances just seeing the people's faces and how happy they are that we came to visit them."

Volkert said the 2013 Winter Carnival royal family will be making appearances in Florida, Georgia, Winnipeg and Hammond Heartland Days.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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