It is one of the most glamorous events of the week. The 42 Miss Mississippi contestants on parade in Downtown Vicksburg. But the young women will be the first to tell you they are much more than gowns, sequins and tiaras.
The annual parade of contestants is more than tradition for the contestants and supporters of Miss Mississippi. It is another chance for pageant watchers to pick out the contestant who they believe should win the title. For the contestants it is an opportunity to touch the crowd, to see family and friends and it provides some down time to relax and enjoy the moment. Most of their days are filled with hours of rehearsals and interviews with the judges. But these young women are on a mission.
"I've actually already worked on some products for Aveda and for our military in the cosmetic lab at Southern Miss", said Kimberly Page, Miss Deep South.
"I've met with our Governor, Phil Bryant, and he has endorsed me as an official spokesperson for human trafficking awareness in Mississippi", Taylor Townsend, Miss Mississippi College said.
Most of them have spent nearly a year preparing for this week. Others have had just a few months to work on the pageant between graduations, college schedules, and family obligations.
"With senior year going on I was like yeah, I'm a senior, I'm gonna have fun, I'm gonna enjoy. After graduation I was like on my goodness I have less than a month before Miss Mississippi", said Ariel Cheng, Miss Madison.
"I was kind of like get right and get tight real soon Kennitra! But its exciting", Kennitra Thompson, Miss Metro Jackson said.
There are seven contestants who are students at Mississippi State University, 10 from Ole Miss, 3 from William Carey University, four from USM, one from Jackson State University, one from Alcorn, and three from Mississippi College.
The last 3 young women to win the Miss Mississippi crown have been from Mississippi State, including Mary Margaret Roark the reigning Miss Mississippi.
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