Royal welcome: Bethune named Winter Carnival Royal Majesty
HOUGHTON — Abbie Bethune could go on to build countless bridges once she gets her civil engineering degree from Michigan Technological University.
But only the one she built Saturday will get her a crown.
Bethune was named Royal Majesty at Tech’s Royalty Coronation at the Rozsa Center, part of the 100th annual Winter Carnival. She also won the audience choice award.
“It just really makes me feel so thankful for my community,” she said. “I’m just really honored to be able to do this my last Winter Carnival, and just to really show off all I’ve done at Michigan Tech.”
First runner-up was Erika Gabriel, who also received the congeniality award. Tierra Kelley was named second runner-up.
For her talent, Bethune drew on her civil engineering background to make a popsicle-stick version of the Da Vinci Bridge, which gets stronger as more weight is put on it.
“I’m not really a singer,” she said. “I don’t really dance. So I thought it’d be cool to do something that I’m really passionate about that’s different and cool and somehow related to Carnival.”
The newly crowned Royal Majesty is also competing in the month-long snow statue competition with her sorority, Alpha Tau Gamma, and their neighbor fraternity Sigma Tau Gamma. Both organizations served as her sponsor, along with merchant sponsor Celebrations Bridal.
“I’m really excited to do all-nighter with everyone and just really celebrate and bring together 100 years of Winter Carnivals,” she said.
Contestants also answered a pair of questions: one serious, one lighter.
The competition was the first in-person since 2020’s, then called the Queens Coronation. That year, the title was initially won by a male contestant for the first time before he was stripped of his title for a social media post following the event.
Last year’s virtual Ambassador competition was built around highlighting students’ contributions to Tech and the wider community.
That carried over to this year. Where previous years had pre-taped questions about the contestants’ love of Winter Carnival, this year’s spotlighted their community service work.
In addition to campus-wide activities such as Make a Difference Day, contestants talked about projects done through groups such as sororities, Michigan Tech soccer and bible study groups.