Shelley Pabst, who described herself as “a sassy, but sweet, siren from South St. Paul,” was named 2020’s Klondike Kate from among six contenders Wednesday night at the EnVision Hotel in South St. Paul.

It was her third run at the Klondike Kate title.

In her bio, Pabst, 47, wrotes, “Being Klondike Kate has been a dream of mine since I moved to Minnesota in the mid ’90s.”

A Klondike Kate has been chosen as part of the St. Paul Winter Carnival since 1971. The character is based on a real woman who, the carnival says, “had beauty and charm, and struck it rich in the Gold Rush of 1898 as the most famous dance hall girl in the north. She so charmed the legions of miners that they showered her with gold dust and nuggets, nicknaming her Klondike Kate.”

Klondike Kates are much in demand even after the carnival, with some previous ones having made more than 100 singing appearances a year.

The 134th celebration Winter Carnival runs Jan. 23 to Feb. 2, with many related events beforehand. For more information, go to