Natasha Griggs crowned Miss Dowagiac 2024

Published 5:00 am Sunday, January 14, 2024

DOWAGIAC — A new reign of royalty began in Dowagiac Saturday night.

Natasha Griggs was crowned Miss Dowagiac 2024 Saturday evening at Dowagiac Middle School.

“There was a split second where I thought that was a funny dream,” she said the day after the event. “I was so excited. I was a lot calmer the morning after; when I woke up this morning I was like ‘Okay that was awesome, I just did that.’”

Griggs, 17, is the daughter of Tonya and Chris Griggs. A Dowagiac senior, she is the President of Rotary Interact, secretary of Student Senate and community Relations Chair of National Honors Society and participates in sideline and competitive cheer, tennis and journalism while being dual-enrolled in community college. She also enjoys reading, photography, puzzles and sudoku. After high school, Griggs plans to attend a four-year college and study biochemistry before going on to get her PharmD degree. 

Joining Griggs in her court of honor is first runner-up Abbey Dobberstein, second runner-up Jamie Howard and Miss Congeniality Hayley Jones. 

Griggs said she enjoyed the pageant experience.

“I’m a dancer, so as soon as I stepped on stage, I was fine,” she said. “I said ‘okay, I’ve got this’ and I went through and I nailed my platform which I was so excited about… when we got to the crowning, I totally thought I lost. The girl I thought was going to win was right next to me and I was so excited for her and then they put the crown on my head and it was so exciting and so much fun.”

Griggs decided to compete for the title of Miss Dowagiac to be a positive influence for her little cousin, Aubrey. She inherits the crown from Miss Dowagiac 2023 Amelia Jones.

​​Each contestant was judged based on personal interviews and pageant night presentation skills including platform speeches. The pageant production also featured a performance by dancers from Miss Michele & Co.

When asked what advice she would give young girls interested in participating in future Miss Dowagiac pageants, Griggs encourages them to take the plunge.

“My advice to younger girls would be to just be yourself and truly believe in yourself because that is exactly what I did,” she said. “I told myself to just be confident in myself and who I am and that I could do this and it worked out. So just be yourself and be confident.”

Griggs looks forward to representing the Dowagiac community this year.

“It means so much to me,” she said. “I am all about being an advocate for the community and a good role model for youth so being able to get this opportunity and just represent Dowagiac and what being Miss Dowagiac can be for future generations was so exciting for me. My parents were really proud. My mom always told me I was gonna be a princess someday and it finally happened.”

SEE ALSO: New Miss Dowagiac court ready to represent community