NEGAUNEE — The Mister Upper Peninsula Pageant is this Friday, and contestants are polishing up their Yooper skills and wardrobe.
The Mister Upper Peninsula pageant is a comedy contest in its inaugural year. A panel of judges will decide between ten contestants who will win the crown. The ten contestants range from 18 years old to 60 years old and must impress the judges with their Yooper fashion, Yooper talents and Yooper swimwear.
Co–Exec. Dir. of PAAC and the Mr. UP Pageant, Andrew “Bear” Tyler says, “We have singers, we have dancers, we have a chainsaw carver, we have comedians. I mean this is just going to cover the spectrum. There’s something for everybody, really, on every level, with our contestants being 18 to 60. From your pretty boy, model–type logger to your standard ‘beer–gutted–Yooper… I’m just really happy from the support we’ve gotten from the community and our sponsors, we haven’t had this much support for a show in many, many years, and that’s huge.”
Tickets can still be purchased at the Vista Theater Thrift Store and at other local partners starting at ten dollars. Contestant Jacob Laitinen says this competition is great because it gives people a chance to show off what they can do. He says it will be a tough competition but that doesn’t put a damper on his Yooper Style.
Mr. U.P. Pageant Contestant Jacob Laitinen says, “Well I should be Mr. U.P. because look at me…I mean, look at me. I’m just kidding. No, I don’t know. I think it’s going to be a fun competition and may the best man win.”
The pageant will be held at the Historic Vista Theatre in downtown Negaunee this Friday night at seven. You can read bios for each contestants below. Scroll down to participate in our poll.
For information about the Mr. U.P. Pageant click here.
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A man who’s experienced more than most. Born a troll in urban Detroit in 1955. He clearly remembers the 1968 race riots, was related to the only other white kids in his school (which made him quite tolerant), ran away and joined the carnival in his teens. Joined the Army, went to Guam, saw almost every major rock band from the late 60’s & 70’s in their prime, fell off a cliff, worked as a corrections officer, owned a radiator shop, and finally settled on being the “Toolman Tim Allen Tyler” a jack of all trades that makes most look like hacks. Tim hitchhiked from San Diego to Marquette in the mid-70’s and adopted the Yooper lifestyle so hard that he was only able to leave the U.P. briefly in the mid ‘00’s before he was called back. A Yooper by choice, but not really by choice as it got in his blood. Tim lives in Marquette with his wife, has a son, a daughter and two wonderful grandchildren.
Three Words that Best Describe Him: Full of Shit.
Well, I was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula, specifically in the great town of Iron Mountain. However I am 100% Negaunee blooded due to my lovely parents being from Negaunee and graduating in the class of 1981. I like to think of myself as an Iron Mountain/Negaunee hybrid…the best of both worlds. I enjoy floating down the Escanaba River catching brook trout with my dad and going out to my camp on Lake Michigamme with my mom and sister. I can tell you that from a physical appearance I would not be your stereotypical yooper, considering I shave my face, along with my chest. Yes, I said it…
I shave my chest and I am going to embrace that and say it is very “Yoopnique,” thank you very much. I would represent the UP very well and be a positive influence on any Yooper that is even THINKING about becoming a troll and heading below the bridge. You want this uncharacteristic Yooper to be Mr. U.P. Let’s end the stereotype once and for all.
Three words that best describe you: Certified Meat Candy
I was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula. I love spending time in the woods with my dog and time in a tree stand waiting for the perfect buck. I’m not your “average” guy by any means. I’m self-made.
Three words that best describe you: Honest, Tough, Loyal
I am a Yooper. I live in Green Bay, WI, but I was born in Munising, MI. I love Munising because it is a beautiful place and it is located in the heart of the U.P. From that location, it was easy for me to experience the entire U.P. That is important because even Yoopers vary from one location to the next.
Born from a family of farmers, I’ve worked in the paper Industry and have close ties to the mines in Marquette County. My roots are deeply entrenched in what locals would consider a “true” Yooper. I even carry a very heavy accent.
That being said, I’ve since left the U.P. Opportunity called and I
could not avoid the move. That’s ok, because I always come back. I want to come back. When I am gone, I do my best to let everyone know that the U.P. is easily the greatest place on Earth and you are lucky if you are friends with a Yooper. I go out of my way to promote it, which would also be a great quality for Mr. U.P.
A great many things make me Yoopnique, or so I am told….
I live in the middle of the woods. Deal with guts, blood and beer more than a man should. Plus, I’m just the shit.
Three words that best describe you: ornery, caring, unstoppable
What makes me Yoopnique is that I am a Yooper that no one believes is a Yooper because at first glance I do not look like a Yooper. When people meet me they tend to assume that I am from anywhere else but Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Even after I’ve stated that I am from Sault Sainte Marie people assume that I must be referring to the larger Canadian city of the same name. I am not Scandinavian, I am not over 6′ tall, nor do I possess impressive axe wielding strength.
But I am undeniably a Yooper because when the choice was mine, I chose to remain on the shores of Lake Superior and continue building my life; I am deeply connected to this land and the people here. I am Yooper because I don’t believe in taking short cuts and I play hard. I am a Yooper because I don’t fear a little snow. I am Yooper because I although I love wearing short shorts, I look just as good in a pair of Levi’s and a flannel.
Three words that best describe you: Beauty, Integrity, Community
I am the unofficial mayor of Marquette. I moved back to UP because I love it and I believe in it. This is my home and I need to be Mr. UP.
Three words that best describe you: Happy, Thoughtful, and Determined
I should be Mr. U.P. because I can drink beer and play guitar.
Three words that best describe you: Laid-back, (probably) drunk
I should be Mr. U.P. because, when I am not working for one of the oldest local restaurants, I can be found cooking bacon in the buff. I enjoy all things U.P. Jumping in the lake for the first time, and subsequently becoming a woman for the next day or so. I have worked hard to be the Yooper that I am, I accept all people for who they are, I love nature and all the beautiful bounty it gives us. I may not be the most gruff and rough of people but I feel i accurately represent the caring, loving side of the Yoop, while still maintaining the heartiness that you need to live in this place. Plus I’m ridiculously good looking.
I’m from the Great White North from a small town called Ewen, MI. Eh bud the closest movie theater or mall was 1 hour away in any direction. I learned how to drive from da tractor when I was a wee lad and went out for a rip with my buds on the 4-wheeler or snowmobile every chance we could. The only deer season I ever missed der was da one when I was in Iraq for a year. When I came home for my 2 week leave I spent 3 days at camp. I rock plaid jackets and have a farmers tan. Chainsaws yup, operate em properly. Have no problem cuttin’ my own weight in no time at all. Ya, I got manners but still fight, and swear, and drink lots of beer. After 8.5 years as a Military Police in the Army I still came back to this beautiful land where hunting, fishing, camping, and surviving is just a way of life.I graduated from NMU with a BFA in Photography and an English Minor. I have my own small business Jordy Maki Photography and also do landscaping on the side. It’s not often I go to the gym. I use physical labor and play so much softball that my body is always strong.. I am always willing to help out in time of need. My dad talks so much like a Yooper that his text messages come through sounding like a Yooper. These are the qualities that make a Yooper der eh!
Three words that best describe me are Strong, Loyal, & Selfless