David Blackledge speaks to Vicksburg Kiwanis Club

Published 12:18 pm Friday, August 18, 2023

David Blackledge, Miss Mississippi’s Executive Director, spoke at the Aug. 15 Vicksburg Kiwanis Club meeting.

Blackledge has been a volunteer with the pageant for 40 years, with 30 of those years as executive director. He said the pageant has approximately 90 volunteers who work to ensure the success of the program.

With a budget of over $500,000 and only one paid employee, Blackledge stated most of the Miss Mississippi budget goes into production and scholarships. Mississippi is also one of the few states that televises its pageant statewide. Mississippi is one of the top states for awarding scholarships to participants.

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The Miss Mississippi Corporation has developed a separate foundation to manage its scholarships.

Blackledge estimated that 90 percent of the funding for the pageant comes from the Warren County area.

He also stated that the economic benefit from the pageant week of Vicksburg and Warren County is estimated to be over $2 million.