Hamburg girl competing for Little Miss Apple Dumpling

Item photo by Shea Singley 
Sheila Kern poses for pictures in her pagaent outfit.
Item photo by Shea Singley Sheila Kern poses for pictures in her pagaent outfit.

Sheila Kern, 4, of Hamburg, is participating in the Little Miss Apple Dumpling pageant at the 60th Annual Apple Dumpling Festival & Pageant held in Sinking Spring starting June 17 to June 22. Born and raised in Hamburg, it is through her mother that she was entered into the pageant.

“I grew up in Shillington and always went to the festival,” said her mother, Heather Knappenberger. “When I found out I was having a girl, I knew she would be a part of it.”

Sheila is excited about participating and loves to dress up according to her mother. The four year old picked out her own dress out of the 11 her mother had in mind. She chosea fuschia dress with sparkles on top and has a pair of matching heels with crystals along the sides. Sheila enjoyed getting ready to pose for a few photos. Her father and older brother were also with her.

“She loves dressing up,” explained her father as Sheila got ready for the pictures. She even knew exactly where the neck piece went which surprised him.


Sheila let her mother prepare her for pictures and posed as if she had done this countless times.

“This is her first year,” said Knappenberger. “She gets very excited whenever I tell her that she got another vote.”

The winners for the pageant are chosen based on online voting. Voting deadline is June 17 at 5 p.m. the Little Miss Apple Dumpling contestants are judged, introduced and crowned on the first night of the festival, June 17. Voting can be done at

About the Author

Shea Singley

Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She grew up in Berks County and spent three years at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she double majored in Creative Writing and English before transferring to Kutztown University where she majored in Professional Writing. Shea graduated from Kutztown University in 2012 and during that time completed an internship in the publication department of a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. She joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in March of 2013 and had enjoyed getting the chance to explore the Hamburg area and meet the readers. Reach the author at or follow Shea on Twitter: @hamburgitem.