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Miss America Laura Kaeppeler returning to Wisconsin

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KENOSHA — Laura Kaeppeler will only spend a few hours in her home town when she returns to Wisconsin next week for the first time since being crowned Miss America.

But the Kenosha native will spend those few hours with 1,000 of her biggest admirers as part of a homecoming pep rally March 3 at St. Joseph Catholic Academy, 2401 69th St.

Organizers met for hours last week to coordinate the event with the Miss Wisconsin and Miss America organizations, said Pauline McTernan, development director at St. Joseph.

“They said, ‘Can you make this happen?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, we’ll make this happen. No matter what!’” McTernan said today.

It’s been a rat race since then with McTernan and others coordinating everything from the schedule — “It changed six times,” she said — to just how to distribute the 1,000 available tickets.

Plans were still coming together today, but, so far, organizers expect Kaeppeler will be accompanied by her Court of Honor and Miss America runners-up Miss Oklahoma, Miss New York, Miss Arizona and Miss California. Mayor Keith Bosman and Kaeppeler’s mother, Sue, a teacher at St. Joseph, also will be special guests.

Kaeppeler, an opera singer, is expected to perform. After the show, Kaeppeler will sign autographs until 5 p.m.

The homecoming rally will be part of a whirlwind five-day tour welcoming Kaeppeler home for the first time since she was crowned Jan. 14 in Las Vegas.

Her visit will start Thursday in Milwaukee, where she’ll speak with local television and radio stations before speaking to a panel of reporters at a Milwaukee Press Club Luncheon.

The first of three homecoming shows — events are scheduled for Milwaukee, Oshkosh and Kenosha — will follow Thursday night, where Kaeppeler will crown the new Miss Wisconsin.

Before she wraps everything up March 5, Kaeppeler is expected to visit a hospital and school, participate in a fashion show and book reading at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, attend the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism and sing the National Anthem at the Milwaukee Bucks game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

If you go

What: Laura Kaeppeler Miss America Homecoming Pep Rally

When: 1:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 3

Where: Arneson Auditorium at St. Joseph Catholic Academy, 2401 69th St., in Kenosha

Cost: $5 per person. Souvenirs and T-shirts also will be sold.

Details: Tickets can be bought the day of the event or in advance. The campus box office will open 10 a.m. Seating will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Where to buy tickets

St. Joseph Catholic Academy, Upper Campus, 2401 69th St.

McTernan Wireless East, 2601 75th St.

McTernan Wireless West, 7180 75th St.

Mobile One, 2529 75th St.

Miss America Homecoming Schedule

Kenosha native Laura Kaeppeler will return to Wisconsin for five days — her first trip home since she was crowned Miss America in January. Here are the public events on her schedule:

Thursday, March 1

7:30 p.m. Miss America Homecoming Celebration

Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, 19805 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield

Tickets are $25 per person, or $50 per person with VIP seating and meet-and-greet following the show. For information, call 262-781-9520 or e-mail

Friday, March 2

6 p.m. Fashion show

Mayfair Mall, 2500 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa

Admission is free.

Saturday, March 3

1:30 p.m. Homecoming Pep Rally

St. Joseph Catholic Academy, 2401 69th St., in Kenosha

Tickets are $5 per person.

Sunday, March 4

9 a.m. Brunch at LaSure’s

LaSure’s, 3125 S. Washburn St., Oshkosh

Tickets are $20 per person. Call Mary Lou Lewis at 920-231-9045.

10:30 a.m. Meet & Greet at LaSure’s

LaSure’s, 3125 S. Washburn St., Oshkosh

Admission is free.

12:30 p.m. VIP Lunch

Grand Opera House, 100 High Ave., Oshkosh

Tickets are $25 per person. Call Mary Lou Lewis at 920-231-9045.

3 p.m. Gala Show

Grand Opera House, 100 High Ave., Oshkosh

Tickets are $25 per person. Call 920-424-2350, (866) 96-GRAND or email

Monday, March 5

8 a.m. Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism

KI Convention Center, 333 Main St., Green Bay

For details, visit

7 p.m. Singing National Anthem at the Milwaukee Bucks vs. Philadelphia 76ers game

Bradley Center, 1001 N. Fourth St., Milwaukee

For details, visit

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