The annual Mr. Dixie pageant showcases the talents and personalities of some of the men at Dixie State University.
This year, the competition consisted of eight male students: Weston Zimmerman, Dillon McKinney, Jefferson Beatty, Cody Bajet, Adam Van Der Torren, Kaileb Brandley, August Barlow and Kiel Lambson.
While the tradition of Mr. Dixie has been going on for many years, the DSU Student Association is always trying to make it fresh. It kicked off this year’s competition by holding a Mr. Social contest.
According to the Dixie Life Instagram page, this contest encouraged the students to make their voices heard. Each contestant posted headshots on their social media pages and the one who received the most likes would be crowned Mr. Social.
Weston Zimmerman, a senior accounting major from St. George, the vice president of academics and 2018 Mr. Dixie, said: “We implemented this contest to get the word about Mr. Dixie out to the students. I didn’t get as many likes as some of the other contestants since I have a smaller following.”
The winner of the Mr. Social was announced the day of the competition and the title was given to Kiel Lambson who received the most likes on his photo. Lambson was given a certificate that declared his title as well as an arrangement of cookies.
Many days of preparation went into the Mr. Dixie competition.
Colton Campbell, a senior English major from St. George and 2017 Mr. Dixie, said: “We met up four or five times leading up to the actual event and each time we met we probably spent about two and a half hours together. Our meetings were just to ensure that the event would run smoothly. This of course doesn’t include the time we spent practicing our talents.”
The contestants spent hours at a time practicing together for the opening number.
Zimmerman said: “We worked on our opening number mainly, but we also worked on the flow of the pageant. I would say that we met up about four times prior to the event to work on that opening number that was choreographed for us.”
While the thought of being crowned Mr. Dixie can be nerve-wrecking, the amount of work that Mr. Dixie does is minimal, previous winners said.
Cajun Syrett, a junior communication major from West Jordan and 2016 Mr. Dixie, said: “As actual responsibilities, there aren’t any — you get the title and bragging rights, which is awesome to have. However, you do have to come back the following year to hand off the crown.”
Though there is not an actual list of responsibilities, the winners are expected to represent DSU in the best ways possible.
Campbell said, “You basically have to show up to events and act royal.”
Whether it is going to events or posting on social media, Mr. Dixie should act as the model DSU student.
“My year I wanted to take the responsibilities a little further,” Syrett said. “So I decided I was going to take social media into my own hands and I did for a little while. I posted on Instagram, advertised the school and school events.”
Winning Mr. Dixie is all in the title. It is up to the winners to decide to what extent they want to take the role.
Upon winning Mr. Dixie in 2017, Campbell said he won a cooler filled with Dixie memorabilia and snacks. In addition to this, he also received a sash and crown.
The prizes are not as extreme as the prizes given to the Miss Dixie or even D-Queen winners, but Syrett said he loved the prize anyway.
Though competing may seem like an intimidating process, Syrett said it is worth it.
He said: “It is important to have fun. Everyone wants to see a good show, and it is up to the contestants to give the audience what they came for.”
Having fun is the most important part of the competition, Campbell said.
“If you’re not having fun then it’s not worth it,” Campbell said.