Preliminary competition begins at Miss Mississippi Pageant

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 26, 2003

Last night’s pageant preliminary winners are from left, Miss New South Misty Rea, Miss Meridian Ashley Buckman, and Miss Houston/North Central Tara Hughes.(Melanie Duncan Thortis The Vicksburg Post)

[06/26/03] Miss New South Misty Rea, competing in her fourth Miss Mississippi pageant, won the talent competition during the first round of preliminary competition Wednesday night.

It was the second consecutive talent win for Rea, 24. The Houston resident sang “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and earned a $400 scholarship.

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Miss Meridian Ashley Buckman, from Bay Springs, and Miss Houston/North Central Tara Hughes, from Morton, tied for first in the swimsuit competition.

Buckman and Hughes, both 18, each won a $300 scholarship.

The contestants are competing for a chance to represent the state in the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J.

Preliminary competition continues Thursday and Friday nights at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

Thirty-nine contestants are vying to become Miss Mississippi 2003, with the winner being determined Saturday.

The Miss Mississippi Corporation will award more than $110,000 in cash scholarships and more than $480,000 of in-kind college/university tuition waivers, making it one of the largest cash scholarship providers in the nation.

Each participant receives at least a $1,250 scholarship for competing.