THE JOURNEY BEGINS: Miss Mississippi, Miss Mississippi Teen contestants prepare for competition

Published 10:28 pm Thursday, February 8, 2024

Orientation was held last weekend to help prepare contestants for the upcoming Miss Mississippi Competition and the Miss Mississippi Teen Competition.

The event included taking care of paperwork required by the Miss Mississippi and Miss Mississippi Teen Organizations, radio and television interviews, meeting other contestants from across the state and rehearsals for contestants’ respective productions.

The weekend also featured rehearsals and costume fittings for young girls who are participating in the Belle, Magnolia, and Petite programs.

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“The Magnolia Program is a new program that has been added this year and is another level of the Belle program,” Miss Mississippi Teen Competition Executive Director Winky Freeman said.

Created to allow young girls who have aged out of the Belle program — formerly the Magnolia Belle program — the Magnolia program is designed for girls who are 11 and 12 years of age.

Freeman said this new level provides the opportunity for girls to participate with the Miss Mississippi Organization, which begins at six years of age with the Petite program and progresses through becoming eligible for the Miss Mississippi Teen Competition.

Each Miss Mississippi contestant will have one Magnolia with whom they will work and mentor throughout the year, as well as three Belles.

As part of the orientation weekend, both the Magnolias and Belles were crowned by their respective contestant, along with Miss Mississippi Vivian O’Neal.

O’Neal, who is fresh off competing in the Miss America competition, said being on the other side of the Miss Mississippi Competition has been fun.

“There is no pressure this year,” O’Neal said.

The Hattiesburg native is just enjoying rehearsing for the production and visiting with all the 2024 Miss Mississippi contestants, she added.

The Miss Mississippi Teen Competition will be held April 19 through 21 at the Ardis T. Williams, Sr. Auditorium, formerly the Vicksburg Auditorium, and the Miss Mississippi Competition will be held June 5 through 8 at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

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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