Miss Mississippi contestants arrive in Vicksburg - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Miss Mississippi contestants arrive in Vicksburg

By Maggie Wade - bio| email

VICKSBURG, MS (WLBT) - Being Miss Mississippi is a job.  Countless appearances and competing at the Miss America pageant takes preparation.  Wednesday night the first group of contestants will compete in talent, swim wear, evening wear and on-stage questions.

"Had a great year.  I was real excited to get Top 10 two years in a row," said Sara Beth James, Miss Metro Jackson.  "That just blew my mind, so I don't know it just keeps me coming back."

Preliminary competition will continue through Friday night.  The focus of the next two days is putting the finishing touches on production numbers that include a salute to Michael Jackson who died a year ago, but this pageant is all about the contestants.

"Every year I set a different goal or I set just different aspects of every part of the competition to change this over wardrobe, to do this different in talent,"  said Miss Mid-South Danielle Smith.

"I know to understand the impact that I can have and how I have to perform, just be the best that I can be," said Fenly Akers, Miss Mississippi State.  "It's an incredible experience to be on stage instead of sitting in those seats."

This is the first year for Miss Leaf River Valley, Paromita Mitra, an aerospace engineering student at Mississippi State University who plans to be an astronaut.

"I wanted to make something with physics, engineering and astronomy, so I came up aerospace, and it's become a really big passion of mine," said Mitra.

The first night of preliminary competition is Wednesday.  Six contestants from the top 10 in 2009 are back this year.  Of course you can see the pageant right here on WLBT, Saturday night.

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