CANDIDATES WANTED: Miss Vicksburg and Miss Vicksburg’s Outstanding Teen competitions set for Jan. 7

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The road to becoming Miss America or Miss America’s Outstanding Teen all starts at the local level, and on Jan. 7, the Miss Vicksburg and Miss Vicksburg’s Outstanding Teen Competitions will be offered.

The competition will be held at 3 p.m. at the Parkside Playhouse Theatre, 101 Iowa Ave., and registration will run until 9 a.m. the day of the competition. Those eligible to compete must reside in or go to school or college in either Warren, Claiborne, Sharkey or Issaquena counties.

Vicksburg resident Mandy Harris, who is one of the local directors for the Miss Vicksburg and Miss Vicksburg’s Outstanding Teen Competition, said currently they have four young women signed up to compete for the teen competition and two for the Miss competition.

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“We need at least three to register for the Miss Vicksburg Competition,” Harris said, because without at least three competitors, the competition will not be produced.

Harris said in speaking with a few possible candidates, she is hearing that some feel they do not have a “talent.”

In both the Miss and Teen competitions, candidates vying for the title must perform a 90-second talent, but Harris said that doesn’t mean just singing and dancing.

“If you’re in band, if you’re in color guard or a cheerleader, those are all considered as talents,” she said.

In years past at the Miss Mississippi competition, the talent phase of the competition has included dramatic readings, baton twirling, painting and instrumental performances on the piano, flute and violin. In fact, in 2015 Miss Mississippi Hannah Roberts played the violin.

During the 2020 Miss America Competition, Miss Virginia, Camille Schrier, even performed a science experiment during the talent phase, which aided in her being crowned Miss America that year.

There is also a misconception, Harris said, that the local, state and national competitions are all about looks. However, that’s not the case.

“This is not like your typical beauty pageant. This is a scholarship competition, and it is a learning experience,” Harris said.

Former Miss Mississippi — and Miss Vicksburg 2017 — Anne Elizabeth Buys concurred with Harris as to the learning aspect of the competition.

“Every aspect of the competition has prepared me for life — through the interview process, in developing my talent and learning how to carry myself,” Buys said. “I would say the reason I am where I am today is through the experience and all that I learned throughout the process. It gave me confidence and the ability to stand on my own two feet and it has given me the ability to form what I believe and why I believe it.”

Buys added that she also learned even when the outcome did not go as she had hoped.

“Things don’t always go how you planned and the way you want them to and that is a huge aspect of the learning experience,” she said. “You grow so much through it (the competition) and realize there is so much more to this than just the crown or title. It’s the picture of the whole. It is the picture of who you are becoming in the process and what you are doing to make a difference in people’s life. And that at the end of the day I think is the biggest picture and greatest takeaway from being involved in the Miss Mississippi and Miss America organization.”

In addition to having a 90-second talent, competitors vying for the title of Miss Vicksburg must also have a Social Impact Initiative, which they will convey on stage, Harris said. Teens will also have a Social Impact Initiative, but it will not be part of the live competition.

The Social Impact Initiative is a mission or project the candidate advocates for — something she is passionate about and supports.

For the teens, there is a Lifestyle and Fitness phase of the competition where they can wear any type of fitness attire during a routine that is comprised of four jumping jacks and two squats. The routine can be found at https://youtu.be/TAenCi4cliM.

Both Miss and Teen competitors will also compete in an Evening Gown/Red Carpet phase of the competition. During this phase of the competition, candidates will be asked an on-stage question.

Candidates will also have a judges’ interview the morning of the competition at the Mulberry Vicksburg, 1310 Mulberry St.

David Blackledge, who serves as the executive director of the Miss Mississippi board, said he is glad to see the River City offer a local competition.

“We are thankful to have Miss Vicksburg back. We should have a Miss Vicksburg Competition if possible. This is the hometown of Miss Mississippi for 64 years, and we certainly want to have a local candidate in the competition. So, we want to encourage young women to come and be in Miss Vicksburg and Miss Vicksburg’s Outstanding Teen competitions,” he said.

Blackledge also thanked all those who serve as local directors.

“We can’t thank our local directors enough every year because we depend on them. Because without them there would be no Miss Mississippi Competition or Miss America Competition,” he said.

Cash scholarships will be awarded at the conclusion of the Miss Vicksburg and Miss Vicksburg’s Outstanding Teen Competition to those who won in talent, evening wear and the overall winners.

Listed are details on entering the competition. They can also be found on the Miss Vicksburg Competition Facebook page.

Age requirements for the competition are: Teen: 13-18 years of age; Miss: 19-26 years of age.

HOW TO COMPETE

  1. Go to the Miss Mississippi website: miss-mississippi.com
  2. From the pull-down menu click either Miss Program or Outstanding Teen Program
  3. Click “How to Compete”
  4. When the new menu appears, again click “How to Compete”
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and download the “2023” Miss Packet or the “2023” Teen Candidate packet 
  6. When the packet appears, go to page six for the Miss candidates or page four for the Teen candidates to “Candidate Registration.”
  7. Follow the links to the registration website and complete and pay as indicated.
  8. All candidates in both Miss and Teen must pay a one-time $35 registration fee. (This can be done prior to a decision to compete in any specific local competition.)
  9. Miss candidates will pay $75 per local preliminary entered.
  10. Outstanding Teen candidates do not pay any additional fees to Miss America Organization.

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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