DURAND RAILROAD Days held their 49th crowning ceremony on Friday, March 1. Winners are, back row, from left: Queen Madison Lanxton and Attendant Malerie Freese; front row: Princess Alara Maynard and Prince Jayce Chapman.

(Courtesy Photo) 


  The 49th Durand Railroad Days Crowning Ceremony was held on Friday, March 1 at Durand Union Station with emcee Lion Traci Tribley of the Bancroft Lioness Lions Club. Queen candidates were judged on their application essays, one-on-one interviews, a speech on “what challenges is the Durand Community facing currently,” “what role does volunteering have in helping to address these challenges” and their ability to communicate, personality, poise and overall enthusiasm for the community and the Durand Railroad Days Festival.

  Judges for the informal one-on-one interviews held last month were Kristy Wagner, Blair Pancheck, Karen Warner and Candyce Wolsfeld. Judges at the crowning ceremony were Mary Warner-Stone, Deborah Canute, Courtney Jones and Leslie Dietrich. Scores from three rounds were calculated to select the Queen and Attendant. The 2024 Durand Railroad Days Court is comprised of Queen Madison Lanxton, Attendant Malerie Freese, Princess Alara Maynard and Prince Jayce Chapman.

  Madison Lanxton is the daughter of Troy Lanxton of Burton and Katy Kirby of Gaines. She is 15 years old and a Sophomore at Durand Area High School. She has two siblings, Tyler and Audrey.

  She also has two pugs named Lola and Phoebe that she enjoys taking care of. Madison is involved in many activities such as Student Government, FFA, Art Club, Spanish Club, Competitive Dance and NSHSS. She has received numerous awards including Greenhand Degree, Chapter Degree, Outstanding Greenhand Scholarship, honor roll, as well as placing 3rd in her category at various FFA competitions. She is Treasurer of Student Government and President of the Art Club. Madison enjoys volunteering by cleaning at Kathy’s School of Dance, tutoring students and helping at her mom’s salon cleaning – restocking shelves, greeting customers and scheduling appointments. In her spare time, Madison’s hobbies include fishing, babysitting and dog sitting. Madison is currently working for Kathy’s School of Dance as a Teaching Assistant. Her future plans are to study business at Clemson University. Madison hopes to someday own her own dance studio and share her passion of dance with younger generations. Madison is sponsored by Model Call in Durand.

  Malerie Freese is the daughter of Beth and Curt Freese of Durand. She is 17 years old and a Junior at Durand Area High School. She has two siblings, Tyler and Natalie. Malerie has a dog named Ruby that she enjoys spending time with. She is involved in many school activities including FFA, Student Government, NHS and Prom Committee. She also participates in basketball, golf and softball. Malerie has received an outstanding sophomore award and perfect attendance twice. Currently, she is working as a barista at Stomping Grounds in Durand. In her spare time, Malerie enjoys spending time hunting, fishing and water sports such as wakeboarding, knee boarding and surfing. She also likes to volunteer with park cleanups and assist with Durand Little League. One of the things Malerie loves the most about the Durand Community is that it has created an atmosphere that gives a welcoming environment where anyone can come and experience friendly faces, unique town events and one-of-a kind shops. After Malerie graduates, she plans on attending Michigan State University where she will major in either Labor and Delivery or Anesthesiology to pursue a degree in the medical field. Malerie is sponsored by Stomping Grounds of Durand.

  Alara Maynard is the daughter of Cassandra and Shawn Maynard of Swartz Creek. Alara is nine years old and in the 4th grade at Robert Kerr Elementary School. She has one brother named Henry. Alara has a dog named Belle and two cats named Black and White and Winnie. Some of

Alara’s hobbies include dance, playing with friends, swimming, making friendship bracelets and playing video games with her little brother. Alara is a member of the Competition Dance Team at Kathy’s School of Dance. She also enjoys playing Red Cedar basketball and volleyball, as well as AYSO Soccer. Alara is sponsored by Coffield Oil of Durand.

  Jayce Chapman is the son of Jamie and Ron Chapman of Durand. Jayce is nine years old and in the 3rd grade at Robert Kerr Elementary School. He has one sister named Adyson. Jayce has cats named Ralph, Daisy, Oatmeal and Uno. He also has four dogs named Annabelle, Mabel, Nova and Ragnar. Jayce also has many pet fish. Some of Jayce’s hobbies include amusement rides, playing with friends, video games, Roblox, playing with his pets, bugging his older sister and snacks. Jayce is a member of the Competition Dance Team at Kathy’s School of Dance. He also enjoys playing football, basketball and baseball. Jayce is sponsored by Kathy’s School of Dance in Durand.

  Durand Railroad Days royalty are the ambassadors for the annual Railroad Days Festival, which is held the weekend after Mother’s Day. They represent the Railroad Days Festival and the greater Durand community by attending community events and traveling to other festival parades. The royalty are sponsored by Randy Wise of Durand and the Bancroft Lioness Lions.

Durand Railroad Days Crowning was last modified: March 12th, 2024 by Karen Elford