SAUK RAPIDS -- Festival season in Sauk Rapids kicked off Thursday night with the crowning of three new community ambassadors, Bethlehem Kobluk, Brooklyn Harren and Madeline Bell.

The community said farewell to last year's winners, Clo Meyer, Sydney Burk and Allyson Walz.

Ambassador candidates take part in a nine-week program through spring, which focuses on building the girls up through community involvement and getting to know each other.

Bell says, her most memorable thing from the nine weeks was getting to know the other girls.

"I would definitely say the sleep-over we all had together, because we've seen all these girls at school and we've never really gotten to know them, but being in this pageant has given me the opportunity to get to know every single one of them and they're all such amazing girls."

Harren says she's 'shocked' she won, and shared what she wanted to do over the next year.

"It was anyone's game, I had no idea who would win... I want to be a role-model to the youth, I'm very passionate about the youth of Sauk Rapids."

Kobluk considers herself a 'history nerd', and the history of Sauk Rapids really captured her.

"We went to city hall and toured it and they gave us some background information on Sauk Rapids and how everything was built... and I actually emailed the mayor and he's gonna set up a shadowing period for me."

You can come see this year’s Sauk Rapids Ambassadors Friday at the Rapids River Days parade at 6:00 p.m.

Photo: Richard Leguil, WJON
Photo: Richard Leguil, WJON
Photo: Richard Leguil, WJON