Outgoing Miss Niles ​​cherishes memories from past year

Published 5:00 am Saturday, January 20, 2024

NILES — 2023 was an exciting whirlwind for Audrey Dixon.

Dixon, who represented the community as Miss Niles 2023, completed her reign Saturday when she crowned Amelia Rodgers Miss Niles 2024. Dixon represented Niles at several regional events during her reign and placed in the top seven at the 2023 Blossomtime Pageant. 

During the pageant, Miss Niles Chair Donna Bradfield inducted Dixon into the Southwest Michigan Blossom Queen Sorority, a nonprofit of past Blossomtime Pageant community queens. Dixon said she enjoyed the Miss Niles experience and the memories she made.

“It’s been amazing,” she said. “Being top seven at Blossomtime was a really big thing for me. I didn’t think I would because Miss Niles was my first pageant, Blossomtime was my second. Overall, my year was excellent. I got to do lots of different things and meet lots of new people. My favorite experience was going to the Blossomland Easter Party and getting to interact with the children. I included it multiple times in my slideshow just because it meant so much to me.”

A 2023 Niles High School graduate, Dixon was a Niles High School National Honor Society member and participated in the varsity swim team and student council. She was 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.

Dixon currently attends the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is pursuing a degree in business while continuing her swim career as a member of the school swim team. 

“I’ve gotten to travel all over the country with my team,” she said. “We just got back from a trip in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where we were able to train and go to the beach and work really hard as we lead into our championship season.”

Dixon said her Miss Niles experience has helped prepare her for college and beyond.

“During this whole process, you learn lots of life skills like interviewing, public speaking and so on and so forth,” she said.

One learned skill in particular, Dixon said, has especially helped her during her freshman year of college.

“One thing that I found very funny that I didn’t expect was learning how to do makeup,” she said. “It has helped me out in college because I have girls who always come up to me and ask ‘can you do my makeup for me? Can you do my hair?’ They always came to me for help which was so handy and it helped me make new friends, along with Blossomtime introducing me to new friends as well.”

While Dixon is moving on to a new chapter in her life, she cherishes her time as Miss Niles and encourages the 2024 royalty to be themselves and enjoy their reign.

“Lean on your past queens and your sister queens,” she said. “We have people who both went through and are going through what you’re going through right now and have done it in the past. So if you need any help, ask any questions; everyone is willing to help you. Another piece of advice is just to be yourself. If you’re not right for your position then another door will open that is better for you. Just be yourself and that’s the best thing you can do.”