Jeremy Miller wins Mr. Central Illinois Bear 2017

Mr. Central Illinois Bear 2016 Micheal Edwards and 2017 winner Jeremy Miller. (Photo by Brett Peugh)

PEORIA — Jeremy Miller won the second Mr. Central Illinois Bear competition this past weekend out of a field of four contestants.

The contest was put on by the River City Bears of Peoria. A meet and greet was held Friday night at Club Diesel with the actual contest held Saturday at Blondie’s. The contest included a boots and jeans, underwear, formal wear and a question and answer section. During the contest, there were two different performances by Elijah Nation and Michael Edwards, Keegan Nation and Kato Mann.

On winning the title Jeremy Miller said, “This has really changed how I look at myself inside and out. This experience has given me more self-confidence than I ever thought I would have. I took a chance and believed in myself. Good things do happen when you take chances. To all future contestants of any contest (ie. drag, bear, leather, kink, etc.), go out there and be yourself. Good things come to those wait, but great things come to those who go after them.”

Mr. Central Illinois Bear 2016, Micheal Edwards added, “Passing on the title is something that is truly emotional. I have to say I could not have passed it on to someone more worthy of the title than Jeremy. As I now prepare to take over running the competition. I will be adding a few things. Definitely want to add in an interview round for sure. The rest is up for discussion. But this past year has truly been an amazing journey and I look forward to being a mentor along the way.”

It will be interesting to see what next year’s contest brings then! Jeremy’s next step will be competing at the Mr. Illinois Bear Contest 2018.