Number of Miss Miss contestants up from last year
Published 7:13 pm Thursday, February 8, 2018
The shake up that occurred in late December with the Miss America Organization has not hampered the state pageant.
This year the number of contestants has increased over last year, and the executive director of the Miss Mississippi Pageant David Blackledge, said he cannot recall when numbers have been this high.
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“This is a really nice increase from last year,” Blackledge said, giving credit to rise in contestants to field director Jennie Simmons and the local pageant directors.
Local directors have made the effort to go out into the state and canvass areas that are interested in holding a local pageant, he said, which in turn benefits the state organization.
“Jennie does an outstanding job of staying in contact with the local directors. And then the directors have been great about supporting new pageants and mentoring new pageants,” Blackledge said.
To hold a local pageant, however, it is the responsibility of the Miss Mississippi Pageant Board to issue franchises.
“We approve every local franchise as a board,” he said, which are renewed annually.
“We do year-to-year contracts because that gives us an opportunity to evaluate how well they did, and if we had some issues with the local pageant that gives us a chance to bow out and not renew the franchise,” Blackledge said.
The Miss Mississippi Pageant and all the events surrounding the pageant will kick off with the Miss Mississippi Parade June 18 with preliminary competitions beginning June 20 and running through June 22 with the crowning being held June 23.
After the Miss America Organization lost its main sponsor, Dick Clark Productions, it has been up in the air as to when, where and if the Miss America Pageant will be held and as of to-date, the answers have not revealed, but Blackledge hopes the information will be coming soon.
“All the state directors have a conference call tomorrow with Gretchen Carlson,” Blackledge said.
Carlson, who was Miss America in 1989, was named the chairwoman of the Miss America board of directors after CEO Sam Haskill resigned.
“We had a conference call three weeks ago and that is when they told us that we would be having a following up call, so hopefully we will have some answers,” Blackledge said.