MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The St. Paul Winter Carnival officially opens two weeks from Friday, but it has already crowned its new queen of the gold rush.

Tina Hacker from Plymouth was sashed as Klondike Kate 2022 at a ceremony in St. Paul Wednesday night. She is a lifetime singer and performer going back to singing at her parents’ dinner parties when she was a young girl.

(credit: Tina Hacker)

She says she’s been dreaming about this moment since high school.

“I appreciate all of the little things in life,” Hacker said. “I cherish all the wonderful time and experiences I have had with my daughter and granddaughter. They are my heart. I just love love love to sing. I’ve been singing all of my life and I do it whenever I can, be it with the Edina Chorale, doing karaoke or just in my car. It cleanses my soul and brings me joy.”

There hasn’t been a Klondike Kate crowned since 2020 due to the pandemic.

The Winter Carnival kicks off Friday, Jan. 28. More info on Klondike Kate tradition here.