My dad’s side, family is from Germany (Hessen & Prussia) & Austria. My mother’s family originates from Regensburg (in Bavaria), Both sides of my family are proud to have Donauschwaben ancestry. This is a distinct line of ethnic German people, who long ago settled in areas of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, especially the Danube River valley. What makes this ancestry so unique is that over the many centuries, as a minority, the Donauschwaben could have easily dropped their German customs, language, and traditions and assimilated with their Hungarian and Slavic neighbors. But the Donauschwaben successfully kept their German heritage alive and strong. Even following their expulsion by the Communists, the Donauschwaben still carry on those great traditions in areas all around the world.
I grew up in Norco, CA and still currently live there. I grew up riding horses, I love camping, the outdoors, boating, and riding my ATV’s. I played soccer for about 15 years. I’ve been a police officer for 9 years (also a family tradition). And for the past 25 years I have been a goalie on local and tournament roller hockey and ice hockey teams. With this commitment as your 2016 Oktoberfest Queen, I will be exchanging my hockey jersey, stick and mask for my Dirndl. Giving up playing hockey for 7 weekends, not so bad when you consider the good beer I’ll be drinking.
My family has been part of the Phoenix club since it opened its doors in 1960. I have been coming to the Phoenix club my entire life. I can always find my family at the Phoenix Club celebrating and keeping our German traditions alive. Though I have only officially been a member on my own for about a year, I take advantage of that membership often. You can often find me in the Bierstube for dinner and a beer and of course at all the cultural events!
A special moment for me was in 2012 when I was first crowned Oktoberfest Queen. This is actually the second time I have the honor. That year they advertised on the jumbo screen at the Big “A”. It was fun having my friends recognize me and seeing my own smiling face each day as I drove past, to and from work. I also have great memories over the years of attending Karneval events, and Bockbierfest. My favorite memories are certainly of Oktoberfest, its atmosphere, traditional music, food, meeting new people, and watching everyone have fun.
Being selected as Oktoberfest Queen is a huge honor both for me and for my family, as you can tell, we are very much into our heritage. It is something I take great pride in because I have been chosen to represent the club for a second time. I make a point to share club events every chance I get. I post all about it on my Facebook page, showing people how much fun the events are. My friends know to watch for my invitations to join in on the festivities.
Each year we select an Oktoberfest Queen from among our members. The Oktoberfest Queen has many important duties to fulfill during her reign. She is the official ambassador for the season, she assists with beer drinking and sausage eating contests. In Nicole’s case, her family is very active in the Club’s sub groups and perform with our folk dance group, “Die Gemütlichen Schuhplattler,” on Saturday’s and Sundays. Meet her in person when you visit the Phoenix Club Oktoberfest.