Miss Wisconsin: Discovering What Makes Wisconsin Special

Paula Mae Headshot

Paula Mae Kuiper, a Racine Native, is spending her year as Miss Wisconsin traveling the state.

One of the best parts of being Miss Wisconsin is traveling across the state, discovering hidden treasures and friendly people everywhere I go. I must say that when I was at the Miss America Pageant, many people made comments to me about how nice everybody from Wisconsin is. Initially I thought they were just saying it to be kind, but now that I have traveled throughout the state, I would definitely have to agree with them.  Wherever I am in Wisconsin, I feel at home.

In working with a non-profit organization called Wish of a Lifetime, which helps senior citizens see their lifelong dreams come true, I recently visited Lambeau Field for the first time. I can see why the 89-year-old woman we were accompanying had spent a lifetime hoping to visit this amazing place. Lambeau Field is larger than I ever imagined, and not only was the stadium amazing, but Green Bay was a great city. There is so much pride and joy throughout the entire city, I realized that no matter how the Packers are doing, the cheesehead nation will always stand proud. Of course a trip to Green Bay isn’t complete without a visit to the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and Kroll’s West Restaurant, home of the legendary Kroll’s hamburger. I really got the entire Green Bay experience! Green Bay isn’t just for Packers fans. I also made time to visit the National Railroad Museum, where I was able to get a hands-on step back into history and of course, a train ride!

I have found that Wisconsin is great not just because of its landmarks and cities: Wisconsin’s small towns play a big role in making this place so special. I was absolutely blown away by my visit to the town of Warrens for the Warrens Cranberry Festival. Talking to a local, I found out that it is the world’s largest cranberry festival. I was introduced to the Cranberry Festival’s Royal Court, and they were so welcoming to me. And with all the great cheese and fried food at the festival I went home full, to say the least! I was also able take a ride along the cranberry highway and see all of the cranberry marshes, as well as visit the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center. The hardest part about my visit was deciding between cranberry ice cream and cranberry pie!

Even though my travel schedule was busy, I still found time to take a break and enjoy some of Wisconsin’s beautiful outdoor running trails! One of my favorites was the 400 State Trail in Reedsburg. This trail was beautiful and great for running or walking! Even if you aren’t a runner, there are many trails around the state that provide a beautiful hiking experience.

From the fried food to the cheeseheads across the entire state, Wisconsin is an amazing place to live and I am so honored to be Miss Wisconsin. 

Paula Mae Kuiper, a Racine native, is currently majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she is also a cross country and track and field athlete. Paula is spending her year as Miss Wisconsin traveling the state and promoting her platform, “Breaking the Age Barrier.” She hopes ultimately to become a pediatrician or geriatrician.

This entry was posted in Guest Bloggers, Trails and Hiking, Entertainment and Attractions, Sports