Miss Jones County, Miss University win first-round preliminary titles at Miss Mississippi 2022

Published 10:06 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Excitement was in the air Wednesday night as the first round of the Miss Mississippi preliminary competitions kicked off.

To get the show started, 31 candidates vying for the crown introduced themselves to the audience as cheers of support filled the Vicksburg Convention Center.

As the production continued throughout the evening, competition goers were entertained by Former Miss Mississippi Asya Branch and 2021 Miss Mississippi Holly Brand along with the Miss Mississippi dancers, the Miss Mississippi Magnolia Belles and Beaus, and of course, the candidates, who are competing for the title.

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To cap off a night of watching the candidates in their beautiful gowns, listening to the answers to their on-stage interviews, and enjoying the variety of talents performed, the production ended with Miss Jones County Kasyn Ulmer winning in the Red Carpet phase of the preliminary competition and Miss University Abigail Church winning talent.

Ulmer said her win in the Red Carpet, formerly evening gown, phase of the competition was a welcome surprise, as this year is her first time competing in Miss Mississippi.

“I’m so thankful, and I feel amazing,” Ulmer said. “I found my dress at Faulkenberry’s in Meridian. Miss Amy, who works there, is so sweet and reassuring and when they got the dress, she called me to try it on.”

Ulmer also spoke about her social impact project, Joyce’s Journey, which she started in honor of her aunt, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Church, who performed a jazz dance routine to the song “River Deep, Mountain High,” described her win as “completely overwhelming.”

“All my fellow candidates had incredible talents, so I’m so honored to have received this award and to represent the University of Mississippi,” Church said. “That’s always a good thing.”

Candidates winning in the Red Carpet phase of the preliminary competition take home a $400 scholarship and candidates winning in talent will receive a $500 scholarship.

Preliminary night scoring for each phase of the competition is 35 percent for Private Interview, 15 percent for On-Stage Interview/Social Impact Initiative, 35 percent for Talent and 15 percent for Red Carpet.

The preliminary competitions for the Miss Mississippi Competition will continue through Friday at the Vicksburg Convention Center beginning at 7 p.m. The final night of competition and crowning will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday.

During Wednesday and Thursday night’s preliminary competition, volunteers with the Miss Mississippi Competition are also recognized.

Those being honored include Dr. Randy Easterling, who is retiring as pageant physician after 35 years of service.

Mr. Dale Hathorn will be receiving the Director of the Year award. Hathorn has seven candidates competing in this year’s competition.

Miss Mississippi Volunteer of the Year award will be presented to Johnny Lee Reynolds, Sr. Reynolds has volunteered his services with the Miss Mississippi Corporation for 30 years.

The Miss Mississippi Distinguished Service Award will go to Maggie Wade Dixon for her 27 years of service covering the Miss Mississippi Competition.

Preliminary competitions will resume at 7 p.m. Thursday at the VCC, 1600 Dr. Briggs Hopson Blvd. Tickets for Thursday’s preliminary competition are $30, $40 for Friday and $50 for the final night of competition and crowning.

This year, the Miss Mississippi competition will be live-streamed. Packets are $15 a night or $36 for all nights and are available at missmisslive.com.

Other Miss Mississippi Competition week festivities include:

  • From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, an autograph party with contestants from groups A and C will be held in downtown Vicksburg.
  • On June 24, a Kendra Scott Pop-Up Shop will be offered at the Vicksburg Convention Center and will feature a variety of jewelry that includes the collection created by Miss Mississippi Holly Brand and Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Cameron Davis. A portion of all sales goes to the Miss Mississippi Scholarship Fund.
  • A silent auction, which is sponsored by the Miss Mississippi Local Directors Association, will be held during the Miss Mississippi preliminary competitions. Items will be on display at the VCC. The auction closes after the Friday night preliminary competition.
  • The Miss Mississippi Competition will offer online voting until 11:59 p.m. on June 24. The candidate that receives the most votes will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Votes can be cast through the QR code on the Miss Mississippi Scholarship Facebook page or through @Miss_Mississippi_Corp on the Venmo app.
  • All three preliminary competitions and the final competition will be live-streamed. Interested viewers can go to ‘missmisslive.com’ for details and to pay for the live stream.
  • The final night of the Miss Mississippi Competition will be carried on the following TV stations: WLBT – Jackson; WLOX – Biloxi; WDAM – Hattiesburg; WMC – Bounce in Memphis, Tenn.; WTVA – Tupelo and WMDN – Meridian.

For more information, call 601-638-6746.

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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