Williams, Jolly named final preliminary winners in Miss Mississippi Competition

Published 10:33 pm Friday, June 7, 2024

Preliminary rounds of the 2024 Miss Mississippi Competition came to a close Friday night at the Vicksburg Convention Center with Miss Capital City Becky Williams and Miss Rankin County Anna Leah Jolly winning in the evening gown and talent phases of the competition, respectively.

Williams also won the talent preliminary Thursday evening.

After hearing her name called a second time, Williams said she was “even more speechless.” Williams wore a crimson beaded strapless gown she found at Lasting Impressions in Columbus, Ga.

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“It’s really funny, I have this thing where I put on the first dress and I’m iffy about it, and then I will try, try, try (on other dresses), but I end up comparing every dress to (the first one I tried on),” Williams said. “That was the situation here. It was surprising that I didn’t fall in love with it to begin with because it really is so stunning.”

As the evening gown preliminary winner, Williams received a $400 scholarship from the Miss Mississippi Organization.

As a first time Miss Mississippi contestant, Jolly said hearing her name called as the talent preliminary winner was exciting.

“I am originally from Ukraine,” Jolly said. “I started dancing when I was twelve years old because I couldn’t speak English and I had to do something to get out of the house and I fell in love with the art.”

Jolly performed a self-choreographed ballet en pointe dance to a classical piece of music by Vivaldi.

In preparing for the talent portion of the competition, Jolly sought to ensure her choreography “wasn’t boring.”

“Ballet is always scrutinized and labeled as boring,” she said. “I wanted to convey to the audience that it can be inspirational, fun and you don’t have to know anything about ballet in order to enjoy it.”

Jolly received a $500 scholarship from the Miss Mississippi Organization.

Previous preliminary winners from this week are Miss Madison County Gracie Bassett and Miss Mississippi State University Morgan Nelson. On Wednesday, Nelson won the evening gown phase of the preliminary competition and Basset won talent. Thursday night there was a tie with both Miss Heart of the South Sarah Randolph and Miss Lafayette County Madison Belk winning in the evening gown. Miss Capital City Becky Williams won talent.

The final round of the competition, where the top scoring contestants and the People’s Choice Award winner will re-compete in all phases of the competition except for the judge’s interview, will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday with one contestant being crowned the new Miss Mississippi.

Tickets for the competition and crowning are $50 and are available by calling 601-638-6746.

The Miss Mississippi Competition will also be livestreamed at www.missmisslive.com. The cost is $35.

Saturday night’s competition will also air on WLBT-Jackson, WLOX-Biloxi, WMC Bounce – Memphis, WTVA-Tupelo, WTOK- Meridian and WDAM-Hattiesburg.

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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