July 5, 2018

18 Days in as Miss Wisconsin 2018

The Fourth of July marked 18 days since I was standing in shock on the stage at Oshkosh West High School in Oshkosh.

To date, my ‘Miss Wis Mobile’ travel log has racked up 2,441 miles throughout the state and beyond for that matter thanks to our incredible sponsors at Bridal Elegance in Ottawa, Illinois. So what have I been up to the past couple weeks? The Sunday following Miss Wisconsin finals (which also happened to be Father’s Day) I met with a number of the board members about my Miss America talent, the Miss Wisconsin vehicle, social media expectations, and everything in between. Following that meeting and a Big Mac and large French Fry from McDonald’s (in case you weren’t aware, I’m slightly addicted to McDonald’s fries), my mom and I hit the road and headed back to my hometown of Wisconsin Rapids!

After visiting with family upon retiring to Rapids and stopping by to see my grandpa for Father’s Day, I laid down to sleep with a full heart and eager outlook for the upcoming year (A crowning reaction post to come soon, don’t worry friends! I promise I’m not overlooking that pivotal moment).  Upon waking up on Monday, June 18 and beginning to clean and attempt unpacking I received a request from a board member for an interview at WSAW News Channel 7 in Wausau.  I quickly put my to-do list on hold and got ready, hitting the road for up north. I will say, as I merged onto the highway just north of Plover and Stevens Point I teared up a little bit. In this moment, I was alone for the first time since crowning Saturday night. In this moment, it hit me that I in fact, was not dreaming. My desire to serve the state, the years of hard work and dedication, and all the lessons learned through tribulations had paid off, I’m Miss Wisconsin.

Watch my interview with WSAW News Channel 7 HERE

The days that followed that interview involved lots of unpacking and planning. I drove back to my apartment in Madison that Tuesday morning, putting in my official resignation at Adams Outdoor Advertising where I was working in advertising sales and I began to get my client accounts in order to transfer over to fellow coworkers. That evening I drove to Milwaukee for the night for Miss America prep (say, what?!) and met with board members about media relations and appearances throughout the state. What else has been going on in the life of Miss Wisconsin 2018 the past 18 days?  I had my first hair appointment at Halo Salon on Brady Street in Milwaukee, took my official Miss America headshot with Watrous Photography in Waukesha (and various crown photos), attended the Hillsboro Dairy Breakfast as my FIRST official appearance, took ‘sister’ photos with my Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen at a carnival in Oregon just outside of Madison, said goodbye to my friends at Adams, moved home to Wisconsin Rapids for my year of service, shopped at Bridal Elegance with my teen, Mandi and selected various cocktail dresses for Miss America’s Outstanding Teen in Orlando in late July and Miss America – in addition to finding my Miss America evening gown! I also appeared at the Cool City Classic Car Show in Two Rivers, stopped by WTMJ in Milwaukee for an interview, spoke on Z93’s The Morning Buzz in La Crosse, interviewed at WXOW News 19 and recorded a promo for the Miss America telecast (since my previous employer, WXOW is an ABC affiliate), and was interviewed by WKBT News 8 in La Crosse.

Watch my Daybreak interview with WXOW News 19 HERE

The past 18 days were marked with a bang, quite literally as we celebrated the Fourth of July!  Mandi and I rode in the Columbus parade, our first official parade as sisters before heading home to Portage and Rapids to relax and enjoy the holiday with family, friends, and lots of fireworks (at least on my end).

To stay up-to-date with my travels, Miss America preparations, and appearances be sure to follow @MissAmericaWI and @MissWisOrg on Instagram, @MissAmericaWI and @MissWis on Twitter, and add me on Snapchat @MissWisOrg!

So incredibly thankful and grateful for this opportunity. There are honestly no words to describe the emotions I’ve felt over the past couple weeks, but I can tell you that I am beyond excited to represent this state, to tour parts of Wisconsin I haven’t seen, and to meet all of the individuals I will come in contact with as a result of this sparkly hat and sash. If you see me driving, honk and wave. If I’m at an event you’re attending, please don’t hesitate to say hello – I look forward to meeting you and representing you, Wisconsin!


Miss Wisconsin 2018

Tianna Vanderhei