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St. Paul Park woman named new Klondike Kate

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The St. Paul Winter Carnival has crowned its new Klondike Kate, WCCO reports.

Kathy Rustin-Westphal of St. Paul Park won the title Wednesday night at a ceremony in Oakdale.

Rustin-Westphal was one of six women competing for the coveted title.

The competitors were judged on their singing ability, crowd appeal and how much they embodied the famed dance hall girl's character, WCCO says.

KSTP says Rustin-Westphal has been singing since she was a child and has been in the church choir for 31 years. She even volunteers her singing abilities to soothe babies at the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Paul Children’s Hospital, the station says.

The Pioneer Press and Star Tribune have photo galleries of Wednesday night's festivities.

KARE 11 says Rustin-Westphal is also an archery enthusiast, has two children and has worked at 3M for 25 years. As Klondike Kate, she will make 100 public appearances throughout the year.

Klondike Kate was really Kathleen Rockwell, a Gold Rush-era woman who had "beauty, charm and a man who 'done her wrong,'" says the KlondikeKates.org website.

See a photo gallery of past Klondike Kates here.

The St. Paul Jaycees held the first annual Klondike Kate contest in 1971.

The 2014 St. Paul Winter Carnival runs Jan. 23 through Feb. 2, featuring, of course, Klondike Kate – who will bring her singing and dancing talents to the festivities.

The Royal Coronation of Boreas Rex LXXVIII and Aurora, Queen of the Snows, is set for Jan. 24 at the St. Paul RiverCentre.

Other events at the Winter Carnival this year include the Beer Dabbler, the Securian Winter Run and King Boreas Grande Day Parade, all on Jan. 25.

The Winter Carnival's annual Torchlight Parade is set for Feb. 1.

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