2015 Miss Mississippi Pageant arrived in Vicksburg Saturday - a decrease from the 41 contestants that competed last year.
The first Miss Mississippi was crowned 81 years ago and this will be the 58th year the competition is held in the River City.
A week of events are scheduled, beginning with the annual parade to be held today at 7 p.m. along Washington Street, the first public appearances for the contestants.
Wednesday begins three nights of preliminary competition at the Vicksburg Convention Center leading up to Saturday night's live televised pageant, during which the top 10 will be named and a winner will be chosen to represent the state at the Miss America Pageant in September in Atlantic City.
Other events throughout the week include autograph opportunities, a Miss Mississippi Ball on Friday night following the preliminary competition and a Miss Mississippi Awards Ball Saturday held after the crowning.
A judge's seminar will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Vicksburg Convention Center.
The free seminar is geared toward anyone interested in becoming a judge.
Anyone can become a judge, but it is not a paying job.
Contestants ages 17-24 are divided into three groups for preliminary competition, which consist of private interview, talent, evening wear with on-stage question and swimwear.
The theme of this year's pageant is All That Jazz, said Amy Jackson, producer of the Miss Mississippi Pageant.
Madolyn Hardy of Belzonia was crowned the first Miss Mississippi in Biloxi and four women from the state have been crowned Miss America ~ Mary Ann Mobley of Brandon in 1959, Lynda Lee Mead of Natchez in 1960, Cheryl Prewitt of Ackerman in 1980 and Susan Akin of Meridian in 1988.
By Terri Cowart Frazier ~ The Vicksburg Post
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