Miss Mississippi 2023: Vicksburg native among trio of winners in third round preliminaries
Published 10:58 pm Friday, June 9, 2023
The final round of the Miss Mississippi preliminary competitions came to a close Friday night at the Vicksburg Convention Center with Vicksburg native Miss Jones County Charity Lockridge winning in the talent phase of the competition and a tie between Miss Southern Magnolia Leah Kat Adcox and Miss Hub City McKay Lee Bray in evening wear.
Lockridge, a veteran in the competition, performed a stirring rendition of “And I Am Telling You (I’m Not Going)” from the movie “Dream Girls.” She picked the song in part because of its message.
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“I don’t quit. I fight with all that I have; I fight with all that I am — not just for me but for my family who sacrificed so much for me to be here; for my community who has given so much for me; and for the state of Mississippi, who I one day hope to represent,” she said.
Lockridge, who is competing for the fifth time for Miss Mississippi, is no stranger to winning talent preliminary titles. She won talent last year before placing as the first runner-up to Miss Mississippi Emmie Perkins.
“Every time, it’s just like the first time,” she said. “I never take anything for granted. And I was overwhelmed with feelings when I saw the crowd on their feet because it was something I wasn’t expecting.”
Lockridge thanked her family and the community for their continued support and said that she also gives “all glory and honor to God,” sharing how she prays each time before setting foot on the stage for the Holy Spirit to guide her.
Lockridge is a graduate of Hinds Community College and has a career as a dental hygienist. Her social impact initiative is “Project Smile.” As a talent preliminary winner, Lockridge received a $500 scholarship.
Adcox said she was excited when she heard her name called as the preliminary winner for evening wear.
“I feel absolutely incredible; this is the very first preliminary I’ve ever won on the Miss Mississippi stage,” said the second-year competitor.
In choosing her stunning red evening gown adorned with geometric rhinestone details, Adcox said she sought a design to represent her strengths and her personality.
“Last year, I competed and I wore a white dress, and while it was beautiful, I felt like it didn’t represent me and the fire I had in my heart,” she said. “We found this dress — we actually found it online and ordered it — and when it came in, it fit me beautifully. It came in the day before we left, which is a little scary, but it’s kind of like it chose me and as well as I chose it, which is a gift from God.”
Adcox, a native of Poplarville, is a student at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Bray, a native of Leakesville, wore a white cutout gown with an illusion back and rhinestone details.
“I’m over the moon right now — completely,” she said after the preliminaries. She wore a custom gown inspired by a design worn by Miss West Virginia in the 2022 Miss America Pageant.
“She was wearing it in black,” Bray said. “(And Mia Bella Prom) was able to recreate the dress for me in white. It’s such a powerful dress.”
She attends the University of Mississippi and aspires to be the CEO of a health care company.
Both Bray and Adcox will receive a $400 scholarship.
During the first round of preliminary competitions, Miss Leaf River Valley Neeley Robertson and Miss Mississippi State University Anna-Katherine Thompson, tied in the talent phase of the competition. Both Robertson and Thompson are newcomers to the competition and recipients of a $500 scholarship.
Miss All America City Krystle Hughes, also a newcomer to the Miss Mississippi Competition, won in the evening wear phase. Hughes is a recipient of a $400 scholarship.
On Thursday, during the second round of preliminary competitions, Miss Biloxi Katelyn Perry, a veteran competitor took home the win in talent and Miss Rankin County Madison Delancey, a first-time Miss Mississippi competitor won in evening wear. As the preliminary talent winner, Perry received a $500 scholarship. Delancey received a $400 scholarship for winning the evening wear preliminary phase of the competition.
The final round of the 2023 competition, where the top 10 delegates will re-compete in all phases of the competition except for the judge’s interview, will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday. At the close of the performance, one lucky delegate will become the new Miss Mississippi. Tickets for the final night of competition are $50 and available at the door, 1600 Dr. Briggs Hopson Blvd., the Miss Mississippi Corporate office, 820 South St. or online at miss-mississippi.com/shop.html.
On Saturday, 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. It will also be live-streamed at missmisslive.com.