HATTIESBURG (July 18, 2019)— Celebrating its 70thanniversary, Mississippi Miss Hospitality will host its largest competition in more than a decade, welcoming 43 contestants to Hattiesburg this Sunday, July 21. This year’s program features not only the contestants but their Little Misses and former state Miss Hospitalities as well.
The Platinum Jubilee competition will take place at the Historic Hattiesburg Saenger Theater in Downtown Hattiesburg on July 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. each evening to an already sold out crowd on the final night of competition.
In its 22ndyear as host city, Hattiesburg will showcase this year’s best and brightest young women as they compete for the title of Mississippi’s Miss Hospitality. Forty-three women, who represent all regions of the state, will vie for the title of Mississippi’s Miss Hospitality, with the winner serving for a full year as the state’s official ambassador for economic development and tourism.
In 2018, the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition added a Little Miss Hospitality component, which encourages local representatives to serve as a mentor throughout her reign to a young girl from her hometown between the ages of 6 and 10. Returning this year, the program allows Little Misses to appear on-stage during competition and participate in official events. If crowned the next Mississippi Miss Hospitality, the contestant’s Little Miss will serve alongside her as she fulfills her duties and responsibilities as Mississippi’s Goodwill Ambassador.
“Tourism is the front door to our state, and economic development is the backbone. For 70 years, the Mississippi Miss Hospitality program has championed these economic sectors while supporting the state’s best and brightest young women through a scholarship program,” Marlo Dorsey, executive director of VisitHATTIESBURG, said. “As the contestants, along with their friends, family, and Little Miss participants, travel to Hattiesburg, we are eager to welcome them and showcase our city.”
Arriving on July 21, the contestants will be welcomed to the University of Southern Mississippi before starting their week-long journey to the crowning ceremony on July 27.
Throughout competition week in Hattiesburg, contestants will attend social events, participate in community service projects, and attend rehearsals and competitions. The public is invited to meet the contestants at the Miss Hospitality autograph party at Turtle Creek Mall on Friday, July 26 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
A program of VisitHATTIESBURG, the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition is presented by the Mississippi Development Authority, The University of Southern Mississippi, the City of Hattiesburg, Hattiesburg Saenger Theater and Forrest General Hospital. Sponsorships and patrons allow the program to annually award more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes to participants.
“Hattiesburg is delighted to be in its 22ndyear as host city of this statewide program, which promotes ambassadorship in tourism and economic development. Each year, we have a talented group of young female leaders participating in Miss Hospitality, who eagerly await the opportunity to showcase their love for their hometowns and for Mississippi,” Kristen Brock, Miss Hospitality program coordinator, said.
Anna McDaniel was crowned 2018’s Mississippi Miss Hospitality last July. During her reign, Anna has traveled the state, region, and nation promoting her home state of Mississippi. McDaniel, a native of Meridian, is a 2019 graduate of William Carey University. She has served her university as editor-in-chief of the university newspaper and as a Student Government Association representative, and she is now employed by her alma mater as a recruitment specialist. A vocalist, Anna auditioned in front of the judges for season 15 of American Idol before competing for the title of Mississippi Miss Hospitality.
Guests will enjoy entertaining productions on both Friday and Saturday evenings during the competition. Vocal and dance performances by contestants and local groups, including the Forrest General Spirit Girls, will provide festivities for both evenings. The finale is set for Saturday evening at 8 p.m., where the top 10 contestants will compete for the title.
Tickets are sold out for Saturday night, but a few remain for Friday night. Tickets are available online at HattiesburgSaenger.com or by calling the Saenger Theater Box Office at 601.584.4888.
The 2019 local representatives are:
- Amory – Kasey Pearson
- Biloxi – Reagan Norwood
- Booneville – Abbie Rose Gamble
- Columbia – Asia Montgomery
- Covington County – Larsen Sanford
- Desoto County – Lexi Cobbs
- Ellisville – Jessie Tisdale
- George County – Felicity Slater
- Greene County – Charlsie Hicks
- Hattiesburg – Ariana Craft
- Jackson – Kanajah Brown
- Jackson County – Morgan Rich
- Jefferson County – Tee Cameron
- Jones County – Kathryn Jordan
- Lamar County – Blakeley Baudoin
- Lauderdale County – Anna Grace Banks
- Laurel – Marcie Napier
- Lawrence County – Shayna Tullis
- Leakesville – Dairyel Johnson
- Lincoln County – Allie Claire Townsend
- Louin – Lauran Page
- Lowndes County – Carly Belue
- Magee – Ashlyn Johnston
- Mendenhall – McKenzi Powell
- Meridian – Annabella Sills
- Natchez – Kaitlyn Green
- Neshoba County – Anna Spears
- Oxford – Laykn Gibson
- Panola County – Ginger Stephens
- Pearl River County – Sadie Hubbard
- Perry County – Mallori Dykes
- Petal – Annaleigh Buckley
- Pike County – Gina Van Norman
- Pontotoc County – Georgia Akers
- Ridgeland – Whitney Jackson
- Smith County – Caitlin West
- Stone County – Natalie Breland
- Tupelo – Avery Claire Littleton
- Vancleave – Maggie Pearce
- Vicksburg – Madalyn Burke
- Walthall County – Mally Taggert
- Washington County – Brianna Buggs
- Wayne County – Layne Boykin
For more information on the Mississippi Miss Hospitality program or contestants, please visit misshospitality.com.