Miss Mississippi wows Vicksburg Lions Club

Published 1:15 pm Thursday, September 22, 2016


Miss Mississippi Laura Lee Lewis walked into Toney’s Restaurant in Vicksburg beaming during the Wednesday lunch hour and ready to tell the Vicksburg Lions Club about her experience in the Miss America Pageant.

“You know the story about how I became Miss Mississippi, but I want to talk today about Miss America and my experience there,” Lewis said.

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Lewis placed fourth runner-up in the pageant just over a week ago in Atlantic City in front of a packed audience and millions of viewers on national television. She said she is still living on the high of the experience.

“I’m getting chills thinking about it,” Lewis said.

She was very candid about the fact that her emotions from making the top seven hindered her fully hearing her on-stage question causing her to not to give a complete answer.

“I’ll tell you, my answer was not my favorite… I think I was still getting over the fact that I was a top seven finalist that my mind just went completely blank,” Lewis said. “But I’m not ashamed, I’m still fourth runner up. That’s fine with me. But if I could go back and change one thing it would have been my on-stage question.”

Lewis got through the hectic, fast-paced pageant with a lot of prayer and was just thrilled to get to sing on stage that night.

“That was one thing I really wanted to do, if that’s all I went home with, I wanted to sing my talent on national television,” Lewis said.

Lewis said the people in Atlantic City made each contestant feel like a celebrity.

“Now they don’t do as good of a job as Vicksburg does in rolling out the red carpet, but they did a pretty good job in welcoming us to the area,” Lewis said.

The Miss America experience started a week before the night of the pageant with tours, appearances, press conferences, an arrival ceremony and filming the opening introduction segment for the televised pageant.

The contestants participated in a Miracle Walk for the Children’s Miracle Network and also worked on service projects like providing and serving food at a food pantry to families in need.

“That experience was very humbling,” Lewis said.

After her 10-minute interview on Labor Day followed by three days of preliminary competition, the contestants were given some time with their families at an amusement park on the boardwalk and then participated in the Show Me Your Shoes Parade.

Although becoming Miss America wasn’t in the cards for Lewis, she is thrilled to continue her reign as Miss Mississippi, which she said is the best job.

“It’s very difficult at times. It’s very time consuming, but it’s a job I wouldn’t give up for anything,” Lewis said.

Lewis said speaking at the Lions Club brought back some great childhood memories of attending meetings with her father in Brookhaven.

“I remember going to a few Lions Club meeting with my dad,” Lewis said. “You gave me a moment to relive some happy memories. Thank you for that.”