2022 Miss Mississippi Magnolia Belles and Beaus include 19 children with Vicksburg ties

Published 5:28 pm Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Miss Mississippi candidates are not the only ones who get to wear a crown and sash.

This week as the competition gets underway, nearly 100 little girls will be sporting the same.

They are the Miss Mississippi Magnolia Belles, who are part of the Miss Mississippi Magnolia Belle and Beau program.

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This year, 19 of the belles are from Vicksburg and four have grandparents who live in the River City, and on Monday they gathered for an interview before the Miss Mississippi parade got rolling and shared what it is like to participate in the program.

“It is fun,” the local belles all shouted out.

The Belles and Beaus not only get to ride in the parade, but they also perform on stage during the competitions as part of the production, which is the highlight for some.

During the production number, which features the belles and beaus, the children are divided into three groups when they perform, using three different songs.

They also perform in the grand finale.

When asked if they like the finale the best, they all said “no.”

One of the reasons, one belle said, was because “you have more room to dance” during the group performance.

Another belle said she liked the group number better, because “You get to dance longer.”

Sam Lovorn is serving as choreographer for the belles and beaus and the girls described him as “very funny and very nice.”

That is, if everyone is behaving.

One of the belles said when they were chatting, Mr. Sam, as he is referred to by the children, said he could turn into a wolf. That invoked laughter from the group on Monday.

In addition to turning into a wolf if the belles and beaus weren’t paying attention, the girls also said he used animal references in the dance moves.

“The way he makes his moves are fun,” a belle said, with the group chiming in on his terminology.

“One is called the purple rhinoceros,” “one is an orange orangutan,” and the last is a “green butterfly.”

One belle said, “(Lovorn) makes it fun.”

The group said they have also liked collecting “Foster Care Bags,” which have consisted of toys and games for children less fortunate.

In the group of belles from Vicksburg and who have grandparents who live in the community, there are a few of the girls who are related; some are sisters, and some are cousins.

But now serving as belles, they are all friends.

“It’s fun to make friends with people you don’t know,” Miss Mississippi Magnolia Belle Mary Liddy Wyatt said.

The Miss Mississippi Belle and Beau program is geared toward young girls and boys ages 7 to 10. The purpose of the program is to mentor children who have an interest in someday competing in or working on the Miss Mississippi Competition and promoting community service.

The current Miss Mississippi Competition title holders serve as mentors to their belles and beaus and also offer them the opportunity to be part of their year.

Stella Ivey contributed to this report.

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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