The Miss Wild West Royalty attends approximately 60 events throughout the year promoting Wild West Days and the local community. One of the highlights of their royal adventures is Wild West Days held at the Wild West grounds in Viroqua. This year’s festivities will be held Aug. 17-19.

This year’s royal representatives are: Miss Wild West Haley Hagen; First Attendant Genevieve Haugen; Second Attendant Rianna Oliver; Junior Miss Maya Cade; Junior Attendant Claire Slattery; and Little Miss Brigitta Haugen. The entire court is looking forward to participating in the horse-drawn parade on Friday, hog wrestling on Saturday, and rodeo events all weekend.

So far this year the Wild West Royalty has attended many parades and coronations, along with throwing out the first pitch at a La Crosse Loggers game, welcoming everyone to Viroqua during the opening ceremony for the recent Junior American Legion State Baseball Tournament, volunteering at Norskedalen, and participating in the Stuff the Bus program, which collects school supplies for children in Vernon County.

Tara and Dave Cahoon have been volunteers with the Viroqua Wild West organization for the past 18 years and advisors for the Miss Wild West Royalty for the past eight years. They both enjoy getting to know the girls selected to represent the community as royalty and watching the interaction between each new group selected annually.

The Cahoons said the the Wild West Royalty has done an outstanding job of representing Wild West Days and their communities so far this year, with a lot more upcoming events for the royalty families to attend with them.

Miss Wild West Haley Hagen said her favorite part about being Miss Wild West Royalty is traveling with her royalty family and making new memories and friends everywhere they go. She especially enjoys seeing how much little girls look up to her and want to be a princess too one day, just like she did when she was a little girl.

First Attendant Genevieve Haugen is not only close to her immediate royal family, but also has developed a royal bond with many girls from other communities. She loves to takes pictures with the children at events and watch their faces light up when she lets them touch her crown.

One of the royalty’s favorite activities at area festivals is to present a special little boy or girl with a cowboy hat or rhinestone tiara.

The Cahoons said the bonds the girls create throughout the year as members of the Wild West Royalty they will cherish for a lifetime and the size of the Wild West Royal Court opens the door for younger members to move up the royal ladder as they age, but they cannot repeat a position in the upper tier.

“Being part of the Wild West Royalty is such a great way to meet new people, sharpen your communication skills and grow as a young woman, and the best part is they all have so much fun at the same time,” Tara said.

The entire royalty court and advisors said they appreciate all the talented men and women who work so hard to make Wild West Days successful every year.

“We hope everyone can come out and support Wild West Days, Aug. 17-19. Bring the family, kick back and have a great time attending the numerous events going on over the weekend. Don’t forget to greet the royal family when you see them too. They might be watching the rodeo, walking through Boon Town, riding in a carriage, or getting down and dirty wrestling a hog, but they will be front and center all weekend long,” Tara said.

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Dorothy Robson can be reached at or 608-606-0811.


Westby Times editor

Dorothy Robson is editor of the Westby Times. Contact her at 608-637-5625.

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