Good luck, Miss Mississippi contestants

Published 10:55 pm Saturday, June 23, 2012

For the past 55 years, an annual rite of summer in Mississippi has called Vicksburg home. The Miss Mississippi pageant — a boon for the city’s economy and image — began in earnest today with the arrival of 42 contestants from around the state vying to represent the Magnolia State at January’s Miss America pageant.

We wish all the contestants the best in their quests for the crown. Activities begin on Monday with the annual parade down Washington Street. Autograph sessions lead into three nights of preliminary competitions before Saturday night’s live televised final night. Three women from Vicksburg are participants. No Vicksburg woman has been crowned Miss Mississippi since Karen Hopson in 1981.

We hope for a seamless pageant under the direction of two first-timers. Chesley Lambiotte and Amy Jackson will be responsible for the pageant’s production. That is what will continue to attract the pageant to Vicksburg’s pomp and production.

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It is incumbent upon the people of the city to show Vicksburg in a positive light. Families from Moss Point to Corinth and all points between will stay at our hotels, eat at our restaurants and visit our attractions. It would only enhance the city for visitors to leave with positive feelings.

Vicksburg has been fortunate during the past 55 years to not only attract, but to keep the pageant in the River City. Countless hours have gone into making the Miss Mississippi pageant a first-class event and one the people here should be proud to have.

And who knows, one of these young women could be crowned Miss America. It’s possible. Four Mississippians — Mary Ann Mobley in 1958, Linda Lee Meade in 1959, Cheryl Prewitt in 1979 and Susan Akin in 1985 — have earned the coveted Miss America crown. It’s been 26 years, though. Long overdue.