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Vicksburg shines in Miss Mississippi

The number of Vicksburg connections in the Miss Mississippi Competition was impressive. Three of the 45 candidates competing in the pageant grew up in Vicksburg, and all have notable accomplishments outside of their involvement in the pageant.

Miss Vicksburg Alexis Murrell earned a civil engineering degree at Mississippi State and is a hydraulic engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Miss North Central Mississippi Peyton Olivia Pierce graduated this year in the top 25 percent of her class at Warren Central High School and Miss Pride of the South Charity Lockridge plans to go to dental school after earning her bachelor’s degree at Alcorn State.

Karen Hopson Hall, one of five judges who presided over the competition and a former Miss Mississippi, is a Vicksburg native. Anne Elizabeth Buys, who also held the Miss Mississippi title in 2017, was back in her hometown for the pageant this year, making appearances on stage and in Miss Mississippi commercials. And a handful of entertainers who grew up in Vicksburg, like dancer Tess Frazier, returned to help keep the audience entertained.

Vicksburg had just as much to be proud of when viewers looked off stage, too.

Vicksburg Convention Center Executive Director Annette Kirklin and her team did an excellent job hosting the production of the competition.

More than 100 volunteers served as hostesses for the contestants and helped with backstage production, transportation of candidates and much more.

The city of Vicksburg welcomed candidates at the Miss Mississippi parade, which created a fun outing for those like my husband and I who chose to attend. Many local hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, shops and community organizations welcomed contestants and their families, too. One such organization is the Rotary Club, which invites contestants to break bread with them at their weekly meeting each year.

I had the pleasure of being a guest at that meeting, and enjoyed getting to know some of the participants in a personal setting.

Hosting the Miss Mississippi Competition is a large undertaking. We should be proud of our community for stepping up to the plate for more than 60 years to hold this event. And we should also be proud of our community for representing us well.

Catherine Boone Hadaway is publisher of The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at catherine.hadaway@vicksburgpost.com.

About Catherine Hadaway

Catherine Hadaway, as The Vicksburg Post’s publisher, oversees the business operations of the newspaper. She is a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala. and is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Business and Religion. She is a Director of Boone Newspapers, Inc., the family company that owns The Post. Catherine comes from a long line of newspaper publishers, starting with her grandfather, Buford Boone, who served as publisher of The Tuscaloosa News and earned journalism's highest honor when he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his editorial titled "What a Price for Peace." Catherine is a member of The Rotary Club of Vicksburg, Vicksburg Young Professionals, The Heritage Guild and The Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

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