A community effort: Miss Mississippi 2015 is not the only winner in town

Published 2:58 am Sunday, June 28, 2015

On June 20, 30 young women arrived in Vicksburg with the dream of becoming the next Miss Mississippi and possibly the fifth Miss America from Mississippi.

The pace during the week was hectic, the competition for a place in the top 10 was intense, and Saturday night, Hannah Roberts received her crown as the 2015 Miss Mississippi.

Through the trials and nightly competitions, Roberts proved she had the perseverance and the will to achieve her goal and be successful/

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But the she wasn’t the only winner.

The city of Vicksburg and Warren County can claim a victory as well.

Miss Mississippi brought visitors to the city who stayed in our hotels, ate in our restaurants and shopped in our stores, and that meant not only cash in local registers but sales tax revenues in the city coffers.

The State of Mississippi reimburses 18 percent of the sales taxes collected in the city back to Vicksburg.

The city’s 2014 reimbursement for July, when the pageant was held, totaled $597,608 — $15,794 more than the same period for 2013.

That’s money that goes toward fixing and maintaining streets, drainage, keeping recreational facilities open and police and firefighters on the job.

Vicksburg also got exposure. The visitors who came to the pageant, whether they stayed one or several days, got to get a close look our attractions like the Vicksburg National Military Park, the Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum and Interpretive Center, the Vicksburg Convention Center and the downtown district.

Other winners were the Vicksburg Convention Center, which is home to the annual pageant and once again did a very good job working with pageant officials to make things run smoothly, and the contributing businesses, which relieved pageant organizers from having to worry about meals, hotel rooms, cars and providing amenities for judges and special guests.

“Having businesses provide things like meals to the contestants; having George Carr donate cars or contribute cars — all those are things we need to happen, and we’d have to pay for it if they were not donated. They help us keep it manageable, so we can keep the pageant here,” said executive secretary and scholarship chairman Earl Edris.

Police officers and sheriff’s deputies provided security, directed traffic and provided escorts to get the contestants where they needed to be, and the city’s firefighters and building maintenance crews were available to handle problems.

City and county officials, pageant officials, the convention center team and the merchants who provided their support are to be congratulated for their efforts in bringing off another successful pageant.

And congratulations to Hannah Roberts our new Miss Mississippi. May you enjoy her reign during the year.