Vicksburg plays host to a number of groups, including hundreds of visitors with the Miss Mississippi Pageant

Published 9:03 am Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Playing host to visitors is one of Vicksburg’s biggest assets.

On Thursday, 21 students from the University of Texas at Austin spent the night at the W.K. Purks YMCA and were treated to dinner at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Episcopal. The students were part of the Texas 4000, a non-profit cancer charity, where participants ride their bikes across the country.

The ride started June 2 in Austin and will finish in Anchorage, Alaska on August 11, after a ride of more than 4,500 miles.

“I think today was the first time on the bike that I was riding and I kind of just stopped and looked and was taken away and finally realized that I am biking across the country,” cyclist Mikaela Casas said. “Mississippi is absolutely beautiful. I’ve never been to this state before so I was pleasantly surprised.”

On Saturday, the Vicksburg Convention Center played host to 44 Miss Mississippi contestants, 132 princesses and 3 princes, during the annual Miss Mississippi Corp. Magnolia Prince and Princess crowning.

During the event, each princess received a crown and princes were awarded a gold medallion.

Local titleholders that compete in the Miss Mississippi Pageant select the children, who will also play a role in the Miss Mississippi Pageant production.

Twin sisters Abbie and Allie Mattox are serving as princesses for Miss Parade of Beauties Blair Wortsmith.

“This is our first time to be princesses,” Abbie said, with sister Allie adding they were already having a lot of fun.

The crowning kicks off of week of pageantry held in Vicksburg.

More positives this week in Vicksburg:

4 On Wednesday, former Warren Central High School baseball player Marcus Ragan was taken in the 15th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball draft by the Boston Red Sox. Ragan was the 461st overall pick.

Ragan is the third player from Warren County to be drafted in the past five years. Former Warren Central and Hinds Community College shortstop Beau Wallace was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013, and former Vicksburg High pitcher Clyde Kendrick by the Texas Rangers in 2015.

• On Friday, friends and family of the late Jerome Rankin gathered at his grave at Cedar Hill Cemetery to release balloons in celebration of his 23rd birthday and to call attention to gun violence.