Contestants prepare for Miss Mississippi pageant

Published 7:29 pm Sunday, February 11, 2018

This weekend an orientation was held for the 49 contestants who will be competing in the Miss Mississippi Pageant in June and Jaynie Fedell, who serves as the producer of the Miss Mississippi Pageant competition, was all smiles.

“I enjoy going around and talking to the girls and getting to know the new ones,” Fedell said.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

And with the contestants, who return to compete again, she said it is like seeing an old friend.

“And then there are the veterans who say ‘Hey Miss Jaynie, give me hug.’ That’s the best part.”

Fedell has been involved with the Miss Mississippi Pageant organization for 28 years and for 13 of those years, she served as the producer of the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Pageant.

This year marks Fedell’s third year to serve as the producer to the Miss Mississippi Pageant, and although her position includes making sure the pageant production goes off without a hitch, it is the connection she has with the contestants that she loves the most.

“I work with the girls in helping them get prepared for the show and informing them what they will be expected to do,” Fedell said.

As the producer, Fedell said she also goes over with the contestants what it will be like during the competition and she also discuses costuming for the show.

The title of the 2018 Miss Mississippi Pageant production is “Simply the Best,” Fedell said.

“This show goes way back and it was brought to me through Pat Hopson,” Fedell said, but added she (Fedell) has put a modern twist on the original idea.

In addition to learning all about what to expect for the production, the orientation weekend also informs contestants what to expect during the week of competitions.

But the most important thing Fedell said she hopes the contestants take away from the orientation weekend is something more personal.

“I hope they walk away with confidence and knowing they are prepared for that aspect of it,” Fedell said.

The executive director of the Miss Mississippi Pageant board David Blackledge said orientation also serves as an opportunity for contestants to ask questions.

“We want the girls to feel comfortable in coming to us and asking us any questions. All questions are good questions,” Blackledge said, “And we don’t want them going home not knowing anything concerning the pageant.”

This weekend also served as an orientation for the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Pageant contestants, too.

In addition to learning about what will go on during their competition, the teen contestants also participated in an autograph party at the Outlets at Vicksburg and helped crown the Petite Magnolia princesses.

The Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Pageant will be held April 28 through 29.

The first preliminary competition is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. 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. April 29. 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 20 through 22 with the final night of competition and crowning on June 23 at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

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.’

email author More by Terri Cowart