McKee, Dixon crowned 2023 Mr. and Miss Niles

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, January 7, 2023

DOWAGIAC — The new Mr. and Miss Niles were crowned in style.

When the dust settled, Audrey Dixon was crowned 87th Miss Niles 2023 Saturday evening at Dowagiac Middle School.  Daniel McKee was crowned Mr. Niles 2023.

The event was the zenith of the Miss Niles pageant, in which Little Miss and Mr., Junior Teen Miss and Mr., Teen Miss and Mr. and Miss and Mr. Niles titles were awarded by a panel of judges.

“Thank you so much to everyone who came out tonight,” Dixon said. “I’m looking forward to my year.”

Dixon is a senior at Niles High School and plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin after graduating to pursue a degree in business while continuing her swim career. A Niles High School National Honor Society member, Dixon participates in the varsity swim team and student council. She is the president of both the Future Farmers of America Niles Chapter and FFA Region 1 and is also a member of the Business Professionals of America.

When asked what she would like to experience if she could go back in time and witness any event in history, Dixon said the would want to witness Vice President Kamala Harris’ induction.

“That would be a great thing because it shows that women are able to achieve roles higher up in the government,” she said.

Contestants from each category performed a dance routine before taking part in a formal presentation, a question and a fast walkthrough.

According to Dixon, 2022 Mr. Niles winner Paul Pirri, a close friend, encouraged her to participate in the pageant.

“He convinced me that it was a good idea, and man, was he right,” she said.

Dixon is looking forward to representing Niles in the 2023 Blossomtime Festival in April. Established in 1906, Blossomtime is Michigan’s oldest and largest multi-community festival.

Joining Dixon in Blossomtime festivities will be McKee. A junior at Brandywine High School, McKee plans to attend Western Michigan University upon graduating to earn a Bachelor’s in science and nursing to pursue a career in pediatric medicine. McKee was crowned 2022 Berrien County Youth Fair King and is a senior control leader for Boy Scout Troop 541. In addition, McKee participates in the spirit committee, student senate and is enrolled in the local Allied Health Program.

When asked what she would like to experience if she could go back in time and witness any event in history, McKee said he would like to attend 4-H meetings from years ago.

“I’m interested in what they were like back then,” he said.

2023 Miss Niles Pageant results

Little Miss Niles

First runner-up – McKenzie Sarenity

Winner – Izabelle Willson

Miss Jr. Teen Niles

First runner-up – Rylee Parks 

Winner – Kenley Weston 

Miss Teen Niles

Second runner-up – Mattalyn Weinberg

First runner-up – Nina ConTreras

Winner – Emma Williams

Miss Niles

Miss Congeniality – Eileen Torres

Second runner-up – Kimberly Perez

First runner-up – Payton Yarbrough

Winner – Audrey Dixon

Mr. Niles

Winner – Daniel McKee