Dillon places 2nd in Miss Hospitality Pageant

Dillon places 2nd in Miss Hospitality Pageant


Madison County’s Aubree Dillon said her being selected as Second Alternate out of 40 contestants in the 2022 Miss Hospitality Pageant was a huge honor.

Dillon and the other contestants arrived in Hattiesburg on July 10 and finished the competition on July 16.

“It was an awesome and very full week,” Dillon said. “We arrived on Sunday, and after preparations we had a one-on-one interview on Wednesday. We had a five-minute panel interview on Thursday, which I had to be very prepared for and was thanks to Mrs. Mary Beth Wilkerson, my director.”

Dillon said her 90-second speech portion of the competition was on Friday in front of the judges and she described Mississippi and how she would share it with a new visitor.

She said Friday night was the first preliminary night on stage where each contestant presented a 20-second commercial about their respective counties and took part in the evening gown competition.  She won the 90-second speech award which was a great scholarship opportunity for her, she said. 

Dillon added since she won the speech award, she got to present her speech about Madison County again during the farewell brunch on Saturday morning to all the directors and Miss Hospitality board members.

“I was very honored to get the speech award and share things about Mississippi and what it’s given me,” Dillon said. “I’m proud to share my story about the state and my experiences. Being able to share all of that was great.”

Saturday night was the big night which focused on the top 10 contestants, where Dillon presented her 20-second commercial about Madison County again in her evening gown.

“The judges asked everyone in the top 10 an onstage question, and my question was about an industry in Madison County that helps contribute to Mississippi’s success,” Dillon said. “I said Nissan and Amazon have both invested in Madison County since Nissan has invested $500 million for electric vehicles, and Amazon has provided over 1,000 full-time jobs. It not only helps Madison with job opportunities, but it helps Mississippi as a whole.”

After being selected as one of the top five contestants, Dillon answered a second onstage question, about how her generation has contributed to today’s society in Mississippi. Her answer was how so many are involved in social media and how social media gives businesses an opportunity to share their message through their platforms to help tourism and economic development.

Thanks to her top five placement, winning the speech award, and placing second alternate, Dillon received over $4,000 in scholarships, which she plans to utilize for dental school and assisting Madison throughout her reign as Madison’s Miss Hospitality.

The overall winner, Miss Hospitality 2022, was Hannah Grace Crain from Hernando.

Ellis Anne Jackson from Starkville was First Alternate, Third Alternate was Catherine Bishop from Pike County, and Fourth Alternate was Anna Kaitlyn Ashley from Magee, who was Dillon’s roommate and close friend throughout the competition.

“My favorite part of the experience was getting to share what I learned about Madison County and why I love Mississippi,” Dillon said. “Throughout the week I was able to truly see how my family and friends were there for me, supported me, and helped prepare me for the competition. As I walk away from this experience, I want to thank my family and friends and Madison County for all the love and support through this.”

Dillon’s mother, Teresa Dillon, said her daughter finishing in the top three out of 40 contestants was exceptional.

“For months I had a front row seat in her daily preparation and saw how hard she worked,” Dillon said. “We felt confident she would do well, and I felt that with her depth of knowledge and love for Madison County and Mississippi, along with her being physically ready, she would walk away knowing she did her best.”

“She told me she wouldn’t change a thing about the way she competed, and to a mom, that makes for a good ending,” she said.

Mary Beth Wilkerson, local director for Miss Hospitality, said Dillon’s preparations paid off with her top three placement.

“She exemplified the perfect candidate for Miss Hospitality,” Wilkerson said. “She was dedicated to every phase of the competition and to representing Madison County at the highest level. She did just that. Both Aubree and Ridgeland’s Addison Armstrong had wonderful experiences and were great representatives of Madison County.”

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