About 20 from Vicksburg in Atlantic City to cheer on Miss Mississippi

Published 9:17 am Thursday, September 8, 2016

Though Miss Mississippi 2016 Laura Lee Lewis doesn’t hail from Vicksburg, she’s going to have her own cheering section from the Red Carpet City of the South at this week’s Miss America Pageant.

And they’re going to be sporting T-shirts featuring Sesame Street’s Kermit the Frog holding a crown.

Members of the Miss Mississippi Pageant executive board, hostesses and fans are making the trek to Atlantic City, N.J., to support their Mississippi favorite.

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“It’s a wonderful atmosphere to experience. We just want to experience as much as we can,” Mary Beth Grogan White, assistant hostess chairman, said. “Everyone needs to go at least once to experience it.”

White estimated about 20 people from Vicksburg will be in Atlantic City sometime this week with few already there and a group of 15 or so heading out Thursday morning.

“We’ve watched her grow up from the teen pageant, so we’re excited for her,” she said. “We’re there to support our local Miss Miss.”

Earl Edris, executive secretary for the Miss Mississippi Pageant’s executive board, said he is already in New Jersey and this is his fourth year attending the Miss America Pageant the city.

“We make (ticket) reservations a week or two after the Miss Mississippi pageant and pack the week before,” he said, noting he’s charged with securing tickets for the event and hotel accommodations for the group.

“They’re all involved somehow. It takes a village,” Edris said of the reason people chose to travel to the Miss America Pageant.

White said her favorite parts of the trip were the pageant’s final night, which will be Sunday this year, and the Show Me Your Shoes parade, which will be held Saturday.

“All the Mississippi people sit together with the beach right behind us,” she said of the shoe parade.

Edris said they try to hit up some favorite dining spots each time they visit, like White House Subs, and were thankful the weather cooperated so far.

“I just enjoy the whole week,” he said.

The whole process — from the Miss Mississippi Pageant to Miss America — is supported by Vicksburg, White said.

“We definitely appreciate all of the local support,” she said. “It takes a large large family to pull this thing off.”

The Miss America Pageant airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.