60th Miss Mississippi to welcome reigning Miss America

Published 7:00 pm Saturday, February 11, 2017

The 60th crowning of Miss Mississippi will bring out the celebrities for this year’s Miss Mississippi Pageant.

For the diamond anniversary, which will be held June 21 through 24, former winners of the Miss Mississippi crowns are scheduled to emcee, perform and judge, during the 4-day competition.

And, this year, reigning Miss America Savvy Shields will also take part in the pageant’s final two nights.

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“We are expecting a sell-out crowd every night. So don’t wait go get your tickets,” Miss Mississippi Pageant executive director David Blackledge said.

Sam Haskill, who is the CEO of the Miss America Organization, will also be in attendance, along with his wife, Mary Donnelly Haskill, who was a former Miss Mississippi.

Cheryl Prewitt Salem, who was crowned Miss Mississippi in 1980, and then went on to become Miss America that same year will serve as the main emcee for the pageant, Blackledge said.

“We are real happy about having Cheryl come back. It has been a long time she has been to Vicksburg,” he said.

Other former winners will serve as co-emcees in portions of the pageant, Blackledge said, and some will perform.

“Some of them will be performing and singing during the show,” Blackledge said.

Also, five past queens will serve as the judges for the 4-day competition.

“We have never done that before,” Blackledge said.

In previous years, the Miss Mississippi Pageant has had outside performers come in to entertain during the production, Blackledge said, but because of the talent pool the former Miss Mississippi winners offer, the production will be centered around the 44 Miss Mississippi contestants and the former women who won the crown.

This format will also give contestants a once in a lifetime opportunity Blackledge said.

“This will be such a neat experience for the contestants, since they will get to interact with the former Miss Mississippis,” he said.

Also new for this year’s 60th anniversary pageant, is a Miss Mississippi Golf outing that will be held on June 23. The 4-man scrabble will serve as a fundraiser for the Miss Mississippi scholarship program.

“We are hoping to have it at the Vicksburg Country Club,” Blackledge said. “Following the tournament, participants will have the opportunity to eat lunch with the contestants.”

“Several flyers have been sent out already,” Miss Mississippi Outstanding Teen executive director Winky Freeman said.

“We think the golf tournament is something the contestant’s dads can get involved with,” Blackledge said. 

For those interested in participating should call the pageant office at 601-638-6746.

The Miss Mississippi Pageant preliminary competitions are scheduled to run from June 21 through 23 with the final night of competition and crowning on June 24.

Competitions will begin at 8 p.m. at the Vicksburg Convention Center and tickets for all four nights are $125.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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