'Mommy, I have a real crown now'

Jill Meier, Journal editor

Brookelyn Oehme was crowned Little Miss SD International 2018 in late October. The Robert Bennis Elementary kindergarten student is the daughter of Troy and Jennifer Oehme. Submitted photo

Jill Meier

Journal editor


The moment 5-year-old Brookelyn Oehme first set eyes on a sparkly crown and silk-embroidered sash worn by a former Miss South Dakota Teen International, the little girl from Brandon was mesmerized. 

“Brookelyn just fell in love with the crown and the sash and all of the sparkles,” recalls her mother, Jennifer.

And when she learned she would be old enough in a year to compete for the title of Little Miss SD International, she quickly announced, “Mommy, I can do a pageant next year.”

It was a statement her mother couldn’t brush off.

“She has four older brothers, so she is very much a girly girl,” Jennifer said. “She’s my only girl and has never done anything like this before, so we didn’t know what to expect, but it was a new experience for her and for me, and it was all very positive.”

And on Oct. 22, Brookelyn’s “positive experience” turned into a memory she won’t soon forget when the youngster from Brandon was crowned Little Miss South Dakota International 2018 at the South Dakota International Pageant held on the stage of the Orpheum Theatre in Sioux Falls. Brookelyn was selected for the title based on scores in personal interview (50 percent), etiquette (25 percent) and party dress (25 percent).

Their daughter’s crown and sash win is a memory Jennifer and her husband, Troy, won’t soon forget either.

“I was kind of in shock,” Jennifer admits. “I kept looking at my husband and saying, ‘Oh, my goodness, I can’t believe she won.’ My husband told me that he wished he would’ve been recording it because apparently, I made a squealing sound.”

Had Brookelyn not won the Little Miss SD crown and sash, Jennifer said her daughter was determined to not give up.

“She informed me the night before the night we found out she had won that she didn’t care if she won or lost, she could keep on trying every year,” she said.

That night, as Jennifer tucked Little Miss SD International 2018 into bed, still reeling from her crowning moment, Brookelyn announced, “Mommy, I have a real crown now.’

Jennifer said her daughter’s Little Miss SD International 2018 title doesn’t come with many requirements, but Brookelyn will be making some appearances during her year-long reign, including Brandon’s annual Loyalty Day Parade on the first Sunday in May. And next fall, she’ll return to the Orpheum Theatre st¬age to crown the next Little Miss SD International.

“She already talks about that,” Jennifer shares, “she’s excited to go back and crown the next one.”

Brookelyn is the second Brandon resident to garner a pageant title. Jill Turbak was crowned Mrs. South Dakota International 2018.



The Brandon Valley Journal


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