Miss Vicksburg Competition returning thanks to local women

Published 2:39 pm Thursday, October 27, 2022

For the last four years, neither the Miss Mississippi Competition nor the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Competition has had a competitor with the title of Miss Vicksburg.

For a city that hosts the annual events, it seems ironic Vicksburg is not represented. But since 2018, there has been no one to serve as the local director.

Now, two local women, Amanda (Mandy) Harris and Racheal Hollowell, have volunteered to take the reins so that Vicksburg can be represented in both state competitions.

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“I am honored to be taking on this role again and having a young woman represent Vicksburg during the Miss Mississippi Competition and Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Competition,” Harris said.

Harris, who is the producer for The Morning Blitz Sports Show on NewsTalk 107.7 and the production director at V105.5 and NewsTalk 107.7, as she said, is not new to the “pageant world.”

“Before the Outstanding Teen Competition was created, I was actually Young Miss Vicksburg 1997. I have always followed the Miss Mississippi Competition and got involved as a director for Miss Vicksburg and Miss Riverbend and both Teen Competitions for a few years until I had to hand it down due to moving, (from Vicksburg),” Harris said.

Tammy Wells stepped in after Harris moved, but she has since stepped away from the Miss Mississippi organization.

Hollowell, owner of Bella la Vita Photography, has never been involved with any of the local or state competitions but said she felt like Vicksburg should be represented in the competition.

“The reason I wanted to get involved was that last year, I was like, ‘Where’s our Miss Vicksburg?’ and it really hit me that we didn’t have a Miss Vicksburg and I thought that was crazy,” Hollowell said. “So, the thought was floating around in my mind that I would love to do that (become involved with the local competitions) but I didn’t know where to start.”

In a conversation with Harris, Hollowell said, she mentioned being interested in the local competitions.

“I mentioned it to Mandy one day and she said, ‘I used to do the pageant.’ And then she asked if I wanted to ‘co-do it,’ and I said yes,” Hollowell said.

Before the women could move forward in becoming the directors of the Miss Mississippi and Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Competitions, Harris said they had to be approved by the Miss Mississippi board.

“I went and talked to David Blackledge and the board approved us to be directors for the Miss Vicksburg Competition and the Miss Vicksburg’s Outstanding Teen Competition,” Harris said.

Harris said both competitions will be held at 3 p.m. on Jan. 7 at the Parkside Playhouse Theatre, 101 Iowa Ave.

Anyone interested in competing for Miss Vicksburg or Miss Vicksburg’s Outstanding Teen can register on Facebook at Miss Vicksburg Competition or call 601-618-0070 or 601-529-8731.

Harris said both competitions are “closed competitions,” meaning contestants must reside in or go to school or college in either Warren, Claiborne, Sharkey or Issaquena counties.

Hollowell said she and Harris are also looking for sponsors for both competitions.

Any businesses that would like to be a Miss Vicksburg or Miss Vicksburg’s Outstanding Teen scholarship sponsor can call the numbers listed above.

“I am very excited (to be involved with the competitions),” Hollowell said. “Because deep down inside I’m a major girly girl, and I’m glad we are going to be able to bring it (the competitions) back to the community.”

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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