Pageant hopefuls arriving in a week|[7/9/06]

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 9, 2006

A week from today, 43 women ages 17 to 24 will arrive in Vicksburg to compete in the annual Miss Mississippi Pageant, the 48th time it’s been held in the city.

The theme for this year’s pageant is &#8220Oz,” said executive producer Pat Hopson. It is a combination of the original &#8220Wizard of Oz,” and Broadway musicals &#8220The Wiz” and &#8220Wicked,” she said.

Hopson said the idea came from longtime choreographer Mallory Graham.

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&#8220He’s been wanting to do it for years, and I finally gave in to the idea last year. But now I think it’s going to be the best one yet,” Hopson said.

This year’s pageant activites include the annual Miss Mississippi parade on July 17, autograph parties with the contestants throughout the week, three nights of preliminary competitions and a final round of competition on July 22, at the end of which Miss Mississippi 2005 Kristian Dambrino will crown the new Miss Mississippi.

The final night of competition will be televised live on WLBT-TV3.