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Miss West Duluth and princess named

Miss West Duluth is a scholarship pageant sponsored by the Irving Community Club.

A woman in a blue dress, sash and crown poses with two other casually dressed girls.
Miss West Duluth 2022 Madeline "Madi" Watts poses with her sisters Elin and Gracen following the pageant on Aug. 4.
Contributed / Madeline Watts
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DULUTH — Two enthusiastic young people have once again been selected to represent West Duluth for a year as Miss West Duluth and Miss West Duluth Princess. Madeline "Madi" Watts and SummerRain RedBrook, a senior and junior at Denfeld High School, were crowned during the 34th annual pageant at the start of Spirit Valley Days on Aug. 4.

"It was really, really exciting," Watts said. "The West Duluth community and Denfeld are both so important to me and it's so cool to be able to represent the community for a year."

Miss West Duluth is a scholarship pageant sponsored by the Irving Community Club. Contestants are judged on an essay, interview, a description of a casual outfit and a spontaneous question asked on stage at the pageant. It's also a scholarship program; Miss West Duluth receives a $500 scholarship and Miss West Duluth Princess receives a $300 scholarship.

"One thing I like about the pageant is that it's not a beauty pageant," Watts said. "It's more based on your connection with the community and your ability to convey that connection through your words in writing and speech."

RedBrook agreed with Watts.

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SummerRainMissWestDuluthPrincess.jpeg
Miss West Duluth Princess SummerRain RedBrook smiles in her crown and sash at Wussow's Concert Cafe on Aug. 7.
Teri Cadeau / Duluth News Tribune

"It's not about beauty, it's more about being yourself," they said. "I'm happy I got to be part of it and I hope I can show all the little girls out there that it's not just about looking basic and generic. You can be yourself and win."

Competing in the pageant was a little bit outside of RedBrook's comfort zone. Although they play basketball and performed in shows such as Romeo and Juliet at Denfeld High School, they said they were nervous about competing in the pageant. But last year's winner, Gracie Curtis reached out to them and encouraged them to give it a shot.

"I thought I was in way over my head, but I actually had a great time," RedBrook said.

Watts received encouragement from a friend to compete as well. Watts is currently preparing for her senior year at Denfeld and trying to make plans for after high school. She is heavily involved with theater at both the high school and the Duluth Playhouse, plays tennis and recently competed at state with the Denfeld speech team. This year she'll be a captain for both the tennis and speech teams. When she's not running between activities, Watts spends time with her two younger sisters Elin and Gracen.

"We spend a lot of time together," Watts said. "We grew closer when we had distance learning during COVID and we're still extremely close. My middle sister just joined me at the high school last year and we had one class together and it ended up being my favorite class."

As for after high school, Watts isn't set in her plans yet, but knows she wants to go to a school in Minnesota with a focus on either marine biology or writing.

Her favorite part of being Miss West Duluth so far?

"Waving at the kids while driving through the parade," Watts said. "They love to wave back at you and then you toss candy to them and it's just the best."

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READ MORE ABOUT WEST DULUTH

Teri Cadeau is a general assignment and neighborhood reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. Originally from the Iron Range, Cadeau has worked for several community newspapers in the Duluth area for eight years including: The Duluth Budgeteer News, Western Weekly, Weekly Observer, Lake County News-Chronicle and occasionally, the Cloquet Pine Journal. When not working, she's an avid reader and crafter.
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