LA's virtual Swiss neighborhood!

Heidi comes to San FranSWISSco

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Contestants with Alex Herrmann, Director of Switzerland Tourism

There was a Heidi look-a-like contest today in San Francisco sponsored by SWISS Air Lines. The plucky Swiss miss made famous in the 19th century by Johanna Spyri was on display in various incarnations at Justin Herman Plaza from the traditional to the risqué. Many contestants made their own outfits, and all had their own unique spin on the Swiss icon.

The Heidi look-a-likes were judged by a panel of San Francisco and Swiss judges, including MCs Fernando and Greg of MOVin 99.7; Annette Reantragoon, SWISS Director of Passenger Sales USA; Joe D’Alessandro, President and CEO of the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau; Alex Herrmann, Director of Switzerland Tourism, North America; Hooman, Alice Morning Show personality; and TV host and performer Donna Sachet.

Kristy "Heidi" Siefkin

The winning Heidi received two round-trip tickets in SWISS Business from SFO to Zürich, and three hotel nights in Zürich plus two four-day First Class Swiss Rail passes for trains, buses and boats. Second prize included two round-trip tickets in SWISS Economy from SFO to Zürich, three hotel nights in Zürich, and two four-day First Class Swiss Rail passes for trains, buses and boats. Third prize included a fondue dinner for four at San Francisco’s famed Matterhorn restaurant.

Besides great prizes for the best contestants, the event benefited the Academy of Friends and the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund. Each organization received a travel package for two to Switzerland, including round-trip SWISS Business tickets, and hotel designated for use in their fundraising purposes.

The Grand Prize winner was Kristy Siefkin. She is a graduate student in multimedia journalism and has been to Switzerland just once before. She is looking forward to going back next winter or spring… thanks to SWISS.

Written by jdeburen

October 7, 2010 at 10:24 pm

2 Responses

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  1. As I was googling the book ‘Westward’ I got to your web page, which has a report about the Heidi look-a like contest…what a ridiculous display of bad taste and total cultural ignorance. You should be embarrassed to spread such idiotic stereotypes!
    I would understand it if the contest had been sponsored by Playboy magazine.
    I hope you send these girls hiking up in the mountains when they get to go to Switzerland in these outfits and see if anybody there would guess who they are supposed to represent…and maybe also make them read the book so they have at least an idea of the lifestyle of the ‘real’ Heidi.
    Plus these costumes have very little to do with traditional Swiss costumes…more with the Bavarian Dirndl costumes, which is a common misinterpretation here in the US and should not be further promoted by people who should know better.
    Anyway as a US/Swiss dual citizen I am used to meeting people with sometimes funny ideas about Switzerland, which is excusable if you have not been there before…
    Your web page otherwise has a lot of very interesting contributions and links…congratulations!
    Greetings from Portland, Oregon, the big city East of the small town of Helvetia…

    Lis Perlman-Gasser

    January 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    • Lis,

      I appreciate your opinion and feedback. I would say that Helvetic.LA tries to report on the full range of Swiss related events in California. The Heidi look-a-like contest was put on by SWISS airlines in celebration of their San Francisco to Zürich route and garnered some buzz for travel to Switzerland. To my mind, there is value in seeing how the Swiss are portrayed in the United States so a more authentic vision can also be offered.

      Regards, Jean-François


      January 10, 2011 at 9:01 pm

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