Contestants arrive in Vicksburg for Miss Mississippi 2017 - - Jackson, MS

Contestants arrive in Vicksburg for Miss Mississippi 2017

VICKSBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A one of a kind event in Vicksburg begins this week as the Miss Mississippi Pageant celebrated 60 years.

The 44 contestants are competing for the chance to top off the celebration by winning the Miss America crown.

That would be the icing on the cake.

One of these young women, who come from all over the state, has a chance to make this an unforgettable year.

Not only will one of them win the Miss Mississippi title, she could go on to win the national competition.

"It is incredible, said Miss Vicksburg Anne Elizabeth Buys. "I mean this pageant is a part of me. I haven't missed a pageant since the age of three. And I was actually a Princess during the 50th Anniversary."

Buys was first runner up in 2016.

Miss Mississippi State University, Molly May, second runner up.  Holly Harrington, Miss Dixie, third runner up and Mia Hall, Miss Hattiesburg, was the fourth alternate.

"When they called me for the Top 5, it was like okay 'congratulations that girl'. And then I realized, 'I am that girl'," said Mia Hall.

"I began my involvement with the Miss Mississippi and Miss America organizations seven years ago in 2010 when I was a contestant in the Outstanding Teen Pageant," said Holly Harrington.

"You always hope for the best and you always have a goal of maybe possibly being in the Top 10 and then after that anything else is just a pleasant surprise," said Molly May.

This is a big year for Miss Mississippi. They are celebrating 60 years of the scholarship pageant in Vicksburg.

About 25 former Miss Mississippis will be here.

Five of the judges are former Miss Mississippis, including Toni Seawright, who was the first African American to win the Miss Mississippi crown.

The first night of preliminary competition begins Wednesday.

Monday night, the annual parade will be held in downtown Vicksburg.

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