Miss Mississippi and Teen contestants attend orientation

Published 6:59 pm Saturday, February 11, 2017

Vicksburg is home to the Miss Mississippi Pageant and the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Pageant. Both are run like well-oiled machines which is due in large part to an orientation held each year.

This weekend, 44 Miss Mississippi Pageant contestants and 25 Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Pageant contestants gathered together for the orientation, which included dance rehearsals, swimsuit fittings and photo shoots.

The purpose of the orientation weekend is to prepare the contestants for their respective competitions, Miss Mississippi Pageant executive director David Blackledge said.

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“We want them to be informed. We want the parents to be informed. And we want the local directors to all be informed,” Blackledge said. “We want them to know what their responsibilities are and what they are going to have to do in order to be a contestant.”

The orientation is also the time for contestants, their parents and local directors to ask any questions, and to inform them of any changes that have come down from Miss America or Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Mississippi Outstanding Teen executive director Winky Freeman said.

This year, 44 contestants are vying for the title of Miss Mississippi and 25 teens are hoping to become the next Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen.

Registration for the Miss Mississippi Pageant orientation began Friday at the Vicksburg Hinds Community College campus, and registration for the teens kicked off Saturday.

Dance rehearsals were held at the Purks YMCA, with Taylor Thomas Hoseman serving as choreographer for both pageants.

Freeman said these rehearsals are when the contestants learn the production numbers for their respective pageants.

The orientation weekend also includes the crowning of the Magnolia princes and princesses and the Petite Magnolia princesses, who are the youngest performers in the productions and who also serve as attendants for the contestants.

The Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Pageant will be held April 29 through 30 and Jennifer Tillotson is serving as the producer of the show.

The first preliminary competition is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29 with the second to follow at 7:30 p.m.

The final day of competition and crowning will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 30. All competitions will be held at the Vicksburg Auditorium, 901 Monroe St. and tickets are $75 for all three competitions.

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.

Jaynie Fedell will once again be serving as the show’s producer.

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

Tickets for both pageants are available by calling 601-638-6746 or visiting the Miss Mississippi Pageant website.

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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