CORNER BROOK — Paige Hickey admits she felt a little shy and nervous as she sat on stage for the 2013 Corner Brook Winter Carnival Leifling gala.
But her outgoing personality came through to the judges as she answered questions and engaged in a mock sword fight with Leif the Lucky.
Enough so that the 11-year-old, Grade 5 student at St. Gerard’s Elementary was selected as the 2013 Leifling during the contest at J.J. Curling on Sunday.
Hickey was one of the seasoned competitors among the field of 12 contestants. This was her third time competing.
She’s also following in some pretty special Leifling footsteps. Her older sister Abby was the 2011 Leifling.
“And I really wanted to win it, too,” said Hickey, “because then me and my sister would have both won it.”
She said tagging along and watching all the fun things Abby got to do as Leifling made her more determined to try out again.
“I really wanted to be able to do the cool things,” she said adding she told herself “I’m going to try my hardest and very hardest to become Leifling.”
Still hearing her name was a bit of shock.
She said her first thoughts were: “Did she just say my name? Did she really just say my name? OK, I think she said my name, so I’m just going to walk up and hopefully it was me.”
Once presented with her prizes, she quickly got out of the costume she’d competed in and put on her new fur vest to become the Leifling.
The daughter of Barbara Ann Dunphy and Pat Hickey said she’s really looking forward to the next week and attending events with Leif the Lucky.
The Viking mascot of carnival is also looking forward to spending the week with Hickey.
“I think she’s going to be absolutely wonderful,” said Dave Elms. “We have no doubt that it’s going to be an absolutely wonderful run and we know she’s going to love it and we’re going to love having her with us.”
For Elms the two elements of carnival that are important to him are the kids and the seniors.
“The spirit that they show is absolutely amazing,” he said.
He said getting the kids involved is especially important as they are the future of carnival and he hopes events like the Leifling contest encourages kids to continue to be involved in carnival.
Judges for the event were The Western Star’s Diane Crocker, Supt. Paul Dowden of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Supt. Brian Dowden of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. Elms, who served as contest host, was assisted on stage by ambassadors Maddie Hulan and Simon Tibbo and by Mrs. Lucky, Sandra Elms.