2023 Miss Chicago Competition: Meet the Winners Who Will Compete at Miss Illinois

    Miss Cook County, Miss Gold Coast, Miss Windy City, and Miss Chicago are now qualified for Miss Illinois in June.

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    Miss Chicago 2023 Competition
    Miss Chicago 2023 Contestants

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    Eight women were crowned at the 2023 Miss Chicago competition held at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago, Illinois on Saturday. Contestants competed for the Miss and Outstanding Teen Chicago, Windy City, Gold Coast, and Cook County titles. A special crowning was held for Miss Cicero Natalie Baeza.

    The Miss Chicago competition is part of the Miss America organization. It started in 1922 and is the oldest pageant in Illinois. This year marked the 101st Miss Chicago competition. Miss Chicago 2022 Makalyn Heaslett was the 100th anniversary winner.

    “My advice for being the next Miss Chicago is to take it in stride,” Makalyn told Chicago Southsider after the crowning ceremony. “Chicago is a huge city, but it’s a wonderful city. There are so many underserved areas and I think that we really need to get out into those areas and get our face out there. We need to make sure that young girls know what this organization is about and they can win scholarship money so that they can one day be the next Miss Chicago, Miss Illinois, and hopefully take on their dreams.”

    The Miss Chicago competition kicked off with 23 Miss and Teen contestants modeling their black attire. Accomplished actor and singer Trevor Walker served as the emcee. The panel of judges included:

    • Octavia Reese – Miss Michigan 2005 (Head Panelist)
    • Andrea Fritz – Miss Chicago 2003 and Miss Illinois 2003
    • Lydia Suzan – Miss Indiana 2018
    • Julie Ann Syperek – Band Teacher and Writer
    • Karolina Jasko – Miss Illinois USA 2018
    • Mary Catherine Robinson – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leader
    • Andrea Novak – Miss Illinois Outstanding Teen 2009
    • Colleen King – Hairstylist and Interior Designer

    Read full bios in the 2023 Miss Chicago Program book.

    2023 Miss Chicago Competition Winners (Image Credit: MissChicago.org)

    Miss Chicago Competition Results

    Elise O’Connell was crowned Miss Chicago 2023. She also walked away with the Jade Smalls Simmons Talent Award for her vocal performance.

    “I’m completely honored and feeling really blessed,” Elise told Chicago Southsider during a live interview after the pageant. “I started as a Miss Illinois princess 15 years ago. To be here now and to be able to say that I am going to Miss Illinois is kind of crazy. I’m really excited to hit the ground running with my social impact initiative.”

    2nd Runner Up: Marisa Miles

    1st Runner Up: Mbayi Aben

    Miss Cook County: Madelyn Steurer

    Miss Gold Coast: Annie Kamps

    Miss Windy City: Imani P. Muse

    Miss Chicago: Elise O’Connell

    Influencer Award: Annie Kamps

    Entrepreneurship Award: Madelyn Steurer

    Congeniality Award: Rihannon Graham

    Director’s Award: Madelyn Steurer

    People’s Choice: Melissa Garner Owens

    Jade Smalls Simmons Talent Award: Elise O’Connell

    Miss Cook County, Miss Gold Coast, Miss Windy City, and Miss Chicago are now qualified for Miss Illinois in June.

    Miss Chicago Outstanding Teen Competition Results


    Image Credit: Instagram/maoteenil

    Sharron Kagon was crowned Miss Chicago Outstanding Teen 2023 and was the recipient of this year’s Congeniality Award. She was crowned by Miss Illinois Outstanding Teen 2022 Mia Fritch-Anderson.

    “I am honestly mostly shocked about this and I’m so excited to spend my last year as a teen [contestant] with Team Chicago,” Sharon told Chicago Southsider during a live interview after the pageant. “I want to show women they can be part of the STEAM world and that plus size women have a space in the Miss America organization.”

    1st Runner Up: Anika Chandola

    Miss Gold Coast’s Outstanding Teen: Lily Troyan

    Miss Windy City’s Outstanding Teen: Alyssia Duda

    Miss Chicago’s Outstanding Teen: Sharron Kagan

    Influencer Award: Grace Hathaway

    Congeniality Award: Sharron Kagan

    People’s Choice: Summer Smith

    Imani P. Muse Interview Award: Lily Troyan

    Peyton Newman Talent Award: Alyssia Duda

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