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.

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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