HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Mississippi's reigning Miss Hospitality Mary Elizabeth Stringer will crown a new state titleholder during the upcoming 2017 Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant at the Historic Hattiesburg Saenger Theater on July 22.
For one week, the Miss Hospitality Pageant will bring twenty-five young women from across Mississippi to Hattiesburg. After arriving on Sunday, July 16, contestants will spend a week participating in service projects, touring the community, learning dance numbers for the pageant, interviewing with the pageant's judges, and making lifelong friendships.
"When I arrived in Hattiesburg last year, I quickly formed a bond with the other girls. We immediately had a common bond, and that was our love for our state. While we each came to Hattiesburg to compete for the title, we left as a closer, stronger group of young leaders than when we arrived. The Miss Hospitality experience has been life changing," Mary Elizabeth Stringer, Mississippi's current Miss Hospitality said.
Stringer has spent her year as Mississippi's Miss Hospitality traveling the state and promoting tourism and economic development as the state's official goodwill ambassador. A recent graduate of Mississippi State University and native of Starkville, Stringer has spoken at events such as the Mississippi Governor's Conference and Hattiesburg's Shining Stars Tourism Luncheon, opened the Mississippi State Fair, ridden in parades, and kept a Mississippi-themed blog during her reign.
"We have truly enjoyed having Mary Elizabeth as our 2016 Miss Hospitality. For a year, she has championed Mississippi with her intelligent and poignant insights into a state with a rich history and promising future. We know she will take these experiences with her as she begins the next chapter of her life. We are anticipating a wonderful new addition to the Miss Hospitality family next Saturday, and we are confident a strong tradition of ambassadorship will continue," Jennifer Parsons, director of the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant said.
Now in its 20th year as host city, the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant brings in hundreds of visitors from across the state to Hattiesburg each year. With an influx of visitors, including friends and families of contestants throughout the week, the pageant adds an estimated $450,000 of additional spending in the local economy.
The Miss Hospitality Pageant will take place on July 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. with the winner being crowned on Saturday, July 22 at the Saenger Theater. Doors open at 7 p.m. each evening. Tickets can be purchased for Friday and Saturday nights at www.misshospitality.com or by contacting the Saenger box office at (601) 584-4888.
Contestant information is also available at the Miss Hospitality website and the program's Facebook page.