North Dakota International Pageant celebrates women from across the state

The competition has been held for more than 30 years

FARGO, N.D. — Sparkling dresses, stilettos and smiles filled the stage at the Scheels Center for the Performing Arts, but this isn’t your typical pageant.

“We are exactly the opposite of what you think of for most pageants because our main goal is to build up women and to grow them into their best selves, so whatever that means for each person and each woman up there. It’s to change destinies and to change lives. We are women who are serving our community making a difference right where we’re at,” says North Dakota International Pageant co-director and founder Janelle Steinberg.

All 17 contestants from across the state took the stage to shine a light on a cause, community service or charity close to their hearts.

That includes anything from mental health and anti-bullying to hunger or homelessness.

“My platform is for domestic violence, so I really want to help spread and bring more awareness to this for those who are in abusive relationships,” says contestant Amanda Muscha.

There is no height, weight or age requirement for these women to get on stage and share how they make North Dakota a better place.

“All the ladies are uplifting, we’re helping each other out. When you think of a pageant, it probably isn’t what you really, truly see here, so it’s absolutely wonderful,” says Muscha.

The goal of the competition is simple: to remind all women of what they’re capable of.

“Sometimes I think we get so used to being moms, students, sisters, that we forget that we can be independent and still be amazing,” adds Steinberg.

And they hope their message is clear.

“I feel you can do anything if you put your mind to it. That’s something I’ve learned with my journey in life and I hope that they feel they can do that, too.”

The 2020 North Dakota International winners include Melanie Iverson as Mrs. North Dakota International, LeAnne Brydl as Miss North Dakota International, Stella Kaster as Miss Teen North Dakota International, Ashley H. as Miss Pre-teen North Dakota International, and McKenna K. as Miss Pre-teen Flickertail International.

If you’d like to participate in next year’s pageant, you can find more information on how to do so at

Categories: Entertainment, Local News, North Dakota News