Thousands turn out for the pageant paradePublished 11:34am Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Sirens wailed downtown last night to start this year’s Miss Mississippi parade as more than 40 cars of contestants and their princes and princesses rolled down Washington Street.
The sights and sounds were unique for first-time pageant contestants and participants such as Brelynn Beck and Taylor Coffee, two Miss Mississippi princesses.
“I have had fun talking and meeting new friends and dancing and practicing on the stage,” Brelynn said.
Brelynn said she is Miss Heritage Nikki Fauver’s princess and Taylor is Miss Grenada County Shaniqua Wesley’s princess.
Miss William Carey University Sarah Beth Sewell also a first time parade participant said she was a bit anxious, but admitted she had been practicing her wave.
“I’ve never done this before, but it’s great,” she said.
Officials estimated the crowd at more than 2,000 and for the onlookers the weather was mild for July in Mississippi.
The parade also included the Hinds Hi-Steppers, performers for the Miss Mississippi Pageant and children representing the Blair E. Batson Hospital, who were riding in an old-fashioned fire truck.
Nineteen family members representing Vicksburg, Madison and Flora lined the 1200 block of Washington Street to cheer for Miss Central Mississippi Jade Dalton.
“This is her first time in the pageant,” said Becky Mitchell. “We are newbies.”
Dalton’s family included both grandmothers and her grandfather, who sported handmade buttons with her picture on them, and Julie Carr said they were anticipating her to ride down early in the parade.
“Her dress is gorgeous and she will be the second car,” said Carr.
The parade began about 30 minutes late, but it didn’t stop Kadarian Wells, Greg Linzy and Jamal Williams, all students at Jackson State University, from getting a spot on the parade route. They had been there since 6 p.m.
This year’s pageant is the 80th contest since its inception and the 66th to be held in Vicksburg.
The Miss Mississippi Pageant Parade is the first place for the public to view the contestants. This year’s pageant has 41 entrants. An autograph party followed last night’s parade at the Outlets of Vicksburg.
Pageant week will also include autograph parties along Washington Street and at George Carr Buick Cadillac GMC.
Preliminary competitions will be held Wednesday through Friday beginning at 8 p.m. On Saturday, the top 10 contestants will compete and a new Miss Mississippi will be named.
The pageant will air on WLBT at 8 p.m. Saturday.
For tickets or information, call 601-638-6746 or visit www.missmississippipageant.org.