Kristen Oster, a West St. Paul mother of two, beat out four other full-figured and full-throated women Wednesday night to win the “Klondike Kate” sash in the warm-up event for the St. Paul Winter Carnival.

The Klondike Kate hopefuls were judged at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale on musical performance, song choice, vocal abilities and authenticity in portraying the real-life character, who according to carnival organizers “so charmed the legions of miners [in the Gold Rush of 1898] that they showered her with gold dust and nuggets.”

The other Kate-testants were: Deborah Hess, of St. Paul; Rachel Orzoff, of Bloomington; Crystal Therese, of St. Louis Park; and Sheryl Williams, of Welch, Minn.

Billed as the “Mistress of Fun and Frivolity,” Kate will perform throughout the two-week carnival, which runs Jan. 26 to Feb. 5.

The carnival, in its 131st year, also features the King Boreas Grande Day Parade, ice- and snow-sculpting contests and musical acts in Rice Park in downtown St. Paul.

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Paul Walsh