LEWISTOWN — A weekend in Lewistown will be remembered vividly for Montanans Ava Williams and Mady Rigg.
Williams, a Billings native, was crowned 2023 Miss Montana Teen USA. Mady Rigg, a Kalispell native representing the Glacier region, was crowned 2023 Miss Montana USA.
The weekend was filled with pomp and pageantry, as 10 teens and 15 women competed for the crown to represent The Treasure State.
“I'd been wishing on this moment for so, so long. It was everything I thought it would be. It was the crown, the sash, the support, the love. It was crazy,” said Williams.
Rigg added, “I don’t think it sunk in even a little bit. I feel so blessed and honored.”
The night didn’t forget about the former crown holders, Julia Kunau and Heather Lee O’Keefe.
Kunau has held the crown for 602 days, both are the longest holders of the seat in Miss Montana USA history.
“I don't think any number of words could truly describe how unreal this feels and how much of an impact it has made on my life,” Kunau explained.
“I've had the opportunity to travel across the state with my mom, with my little sister Julia, with some other of the girls. And she's been an absolute honor this year,” said O’Keefe.
The two new queens are off to the races for their respective reigns.
Rigg values the beauty that Montana has to offer to its visitors. For the Kalispell native, Glacier National Park is in her backyard.
Rigg said, "I hope to push the message that if you come to visit this beautiful, incredible state, and I hope that a lot of people do, you need to do it respectfully and responsibly so that you stay safe and that we keep our wildlife and our plant life safe as well."
Williams is already working on her non-profit platform, “Bags-a-Books.”
She explained, “We have reusable canvas bags with a few books in them, and I donate them to low-income children around the state. That's something I'd really like to spread. If I could get it outside of Montana, that would be such a dream.”
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