Pageant contestants in Vicksburg for rehearsals, other events

Published 7:03 pm Monday, February 18, 2019

Contestants for the Miss Mississippi Pageant, the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Pageant and their respective prince and princesses converged on the River City over the weekend.

All groups participated in orientations and dance rehearsals, while the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teens crowned their Petite Magnolia Princesses and also had an autograph party at the Outlets at Vicksburg.

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This year 35 contestants will be vying for teen title, which Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Pageant producer Jennifer Tillotson said is up from 28 last year.

“We are growing, which is a good thing,” Tillotson said.

However, with growth brings on the challenge of making sure timing will work out, and in an effort to prepare for this year’s show, Tillotson said, she began working on the pageant in the fall.

“I try to have the show outlined and decided by November and then I start working on costumes and getting the music and talking about the production for the show with the choreographer,” Tillotson said.

Serving as co-producer with Tillotson this year is Kristy Brumfield, and the theme for the show is “Life… The Greatest Show.”

Tillotson said the theme is focused on each contestant embracing her individuality and “living her story.”

The Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Pageant preliminaries are scheduled to begin at 2 and 7:30 p.m. April 27 and the final competition and crowing will begin at 3 p.m. April 28. All competitions will be held at the Vicksburg City Auditorium, 901 Monroe St. Tickets are $75 for all three competitions.

This year’s Miss Mississippi Pageant will have 45 contestants vying for the state title.

The preliminary competitions will run from June 19 through 21 and the final round and crowning will be held June 22 at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

All competitions will begin at 8 p.m.

Some changes in store

Jayne Fedell is serving as the producer for the Miss Mississippi Pageant, and because there will be no swimsuit competition this year, she said the show will include some changes.

“This year there are a lot of little changes,” Fedell said, which includes the on-stage question.

“It will be divided into two segments,” she said, with a portion of the question being a continuation from the private interview that each contestant has with the judges.

“Miss America wants the audience and judges to get to know the girls, so we are making sure they have this opportunity through the interview process,” Fedell said.

This will also affect scoring, executive director of the Miss Mississippi Pageant David Blacklegde said.

During the preliminary competitions the on-stage interview will account for 15 percent of a contestant’s score, Blackledge said.

And then for those making it in the top ten, the on-stage interview will make up 25 percent of that night’s score.

The theme for the Miss Mississippi Pageant production will highlight television and its evolution, Fedell said.

And returning to the stage as mistress of ceremonies, will be 2015 Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray.

“We are excited about Jasmine coming back this year. It’s an honor and big thrill to have her come back,” Fedell said.

Serving alongside Murray will be Johnathan Brannan.

“We think this year’s show is going to be really exciting,” Fedell said. “We are bringing back dancers and new this year, we will also have junior performers.”

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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