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Miss America changes announced

When Miss Riverbend Mary Margaret Hyer was crowned 2019 Miss Mississippi in June at the Vicksburg Convention Center, it was uncertain when and where she would compete for the 2020 Miss America title.

Tuesday, after weeks of speculation, the Miss America Organization announced the national competition will be held in Uncasville, Conn. at the Mohegan Sun Casino.

The date for the final night of competition is Thursday, Dec. 19 and will be broadcast on NBC.

Previously, the finale had been broadcast on ABC.

“I have no issue with a change of venue,” David Blackledge, executive director of Miss Mississippi, said, adding he supported the move “if the organization felt this would be good for Miss America.”

Blackledge joined other state directors on a conference call Tuesday when the location and dates were announced. He expects there will be another conference call in the near future with more specifics.

The time and dates of the preliminary competitions have not been set, as well as other specifics state titleholders will need to know.

The announcement of the changes to the national competition follows last month’s resignation of former Miss America Gretchen Carlson, who was serving as board chair of the Miss America Organization.

Former South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs replaced Carlson as board chair.

Miss America began in Atlantic City in 1921 as a way to extend the summer tourism season beyond the Labor Day weekend. It became synonymous with the New Jersey seaside resort, but moved to Las Vegas in 2005, returning to Atlantic City in 2013.

The competition had been held at the historic Boardwalk Hall, and a parade in which contestants wore shoes with themes identified with their individual states, had become part of the pageant’s history.

Due to the time and place of this year’s Miss America Competition, there would not be a parade as in past years, Blackledge said.

“But there could be another event,” he said, to take its place.

Although the national competition is months away, Blackledge said Hyer has been “under a program” to help her prepare for Miss America.

Currently Hyer is at the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition in Orlando, Fla. supporting Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Jane Granberry.

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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