Anderson wins Wadena's Miss Tootsie crown
On the same weekend that Sedan, Minn. firemen famously fought an unexpected vehicle blaze while in drag for the Padua, Minn. St. Patrick's Day parade, "Anita Mororegano" (Tom Anderson) won Wadena's third annual Miss Tootsie contest.
Anderson's character also won the categories of Talent, Evening Gown and On-Stage Question.
"Barbie Buttercup" (Gary Carsten) won Casual Wear and the People's Choice Award.
Other contestants were "Penny Wise" (Erik Osberg), "Shelita Buffet" (George Behl) and "Alica P. Supright" (Kevin Ford).
While they were all introduced in a Lady Gaga theme, the rest of the pageant ranged from "Mambo Italiano" to Angelina Jolie references to the Napoleon Dynamite dance sequence.
When Ford pranced onto the stage in a pink tutu, the voice of a child in the nearly full auditorium yelled, "I am never going to forget this!"
Doug Curtis as Miss Tootsie 2011 "Constant Lee Doodling" also participated, and different age groups of dancers from Studio Z performed on stage.
Miss Tootsie pageants - parodies of beauty pageants named after the 1982 film "Tootsie" - appear to be a fairly recent aspect of small town life attached with fundraisers or festivals and concentrated in west central and southwest Minnesota.
Newspaper announcements and internet search shows that Miss Tootsie contests have also been held in other towns including New York Mills (from 2010), Parkers Prairie (from at least 2011), Marshall (from at least 2011), Hendricks (from 2003), Sherburn (from 2009), Milroy, Garvin, Tracy (from at least 2002) and Bloomfield in northeastern Nebraska from 2009.
In Wadena, pageant talent apparently runs in the family: Anderson's daughter, Haley Anderson, is the current real Miss Wadena. Haley was participating in the ceremonies for the show, which is a yearly fundraiser for the Miss Wadena Scholarship Fund.