The Minneapolis Aquatennial Ambassador Organization (AAO) recently announced that Kia Matt from Glenwood  and Makenna Swalla from Starbuck will be participating in the AAO Candidate Program from July 22nd to July 28th.

Kia Matt was crowned the 2023-24 Waterama Queen at last summer’s Waterama and Makenna Swalla was crowned Starbuck’s 2023-24 Miss Minnewaska Queen.

This year, 46 candidates will be participating in the program; one young woman is chosen to be the Queen of the Lakes, and two women are chosen as Princesses. The selection team considers a variety of criteria including: professionalism, public speaking ability, current and future goals, education and co-curricular/extracurricular activities. In addition to the interview process, the candidates also participate in leadership, personal development and other unique experiences. These experiences include visiting Minneapolis hallmarks like The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, the Stone Arch Bridge and Minneapolis City Center.

Community members are invited to cheer on their community representative at the Meet the Candidates event, taking place on Wednesday, July 24th at the Minneapolis City Center Rotunda from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Candidates will also participate in the Aquatennial Torchlight Parade, taking place on Wednesday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the downtown Minneapolis Nicollet Mall area.

The week culminates with the Coronation of the 2024 Aquatennial Ambassadors at Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus on Saturday, July 27 at 4 p.m. with a reception an hour prior.

Community members are encouraged to send well wishes to their candidate at the Hilton Garden Inn – University Area, 511 Huron Blvd, Minneapolis MN 55414 (indicate they are an AAO Candidate); Jandrich Floral will also provide a 15% discount to all orders for AAO candidates.