Hattiesburg to host 69th annual Miss Hospitality Competition

Updated: Jul. 12, 2018 at 7:46 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The 69th annual Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition will be hosted in Hattiesburg on July 20 and 21, beginning at 8 p.m. each night.

This is the 21st year that Hattiesburg has hosted the event. The competition has expanded with program upgrades and the addition of the Little Miss Hospitality program, according to a Miss Hospitality news release.

The competition will showcase 31 of Mississippi's best and brightest young women, who represent regions from across the state. The winner will serve a year as the state's official ambassador for economic development and tourism.

"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. From the beautiful campus of the University of Southern Mississippi to the Historic Saenger Theater and Hattiesburg Zoo, these young women and their supporters will get to know Hattiesburg quite well during competition week," Marlo Dorsey, executive director of VisitHATTIESBURG, said.

The contestants will arrive in Hattiesburg on July 15 and welcomed to the University of Southern Mississippi. Contestants will attend social events, participate in community service projects and attend required rehearsals and competitions.

The competition is presented by VisitHATTIESBURG and the Mississippi Development Authority, in conjunction with the University of Southern Mississippi, the City of Hattiesburg, Hattiesburg Saenger Theater and Forrest General Hospital. The Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition annually awards more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes to the top finalists.

The competition generates approximately $450,000 in economic impact for the Hattiesburg economy, according to the news release.

The 2018 local representatives are:

  • Amory – Carson Avery
  • Booneville – Bryce Payne
  • Covington County – Molly Speed
  • Ellisville – Kaitlyn Warden
  • Greene County – Kinley Thornton
  • Hattiesburg – Lauren Parker
  • Jackson – Brionna Wicks
  • Jasper County – Rachel Holifield
  • Jones County – Natalie Welch
  • Lamar County – Hannah Rogers
  • Lauderdale County – Victoria Bean
  • Laurel – Katye Avera
  • Lawrence County – Miranda-Love King
  • Leakesville – Shanna Kay Pipkins
  • Lincoln County – Madalyn Oglesby
  • Magee – Carley May
  • Marion County – Meredith Bass
  • Mendenhall – Lexi Cockrell
  • Meridian – Anna McDaniel
  • Natchez – Joanna Johnson
  • Neshoba County – Shelby Greenwood
  • Panola County – Maddie Sullivant
  • Pearl River County – Jessica Baldwin
  • Petal – Nicole Wiggs • Pontotoc County – Katlyn Thomas
  • Rankin County – Hayden West
  • Starkville – Kathryn Stringer
  • Stone County – Tavia Moore
  • Walthall County – Brittney Bergeron
  • Wayne County – Savana Mason
  • Winston County – Brittany Woods
  • Yazoo County – D’Avia Henry-Peyton

The Little Miss Hospitality program for young girl's between the ages of six and 10 will also be held for the first time.

The 2018 Little Miss Hospitalities are:

  • Amory – Kinsley Reese Gleghorn
  • Booneville – Dani Marie Martin
  • Covington County – Carly Jane Gibson
  • Ellisville – KeriAna Warden
  • Greene County – Anniston Drew Meadows
  • Hattiesburg – Norah Abigail Boyte
  • Jackson – Mary Elise Byrd
  • Jasper County – Natalie Aplin
  • Jones County – Brayleigh Thornton
  • Lamar County – Lily Reynolds
  • Lauderdale County – Lilly Grace Williams
  • Laurel – Avery Ladner
  • Lawrence County – Tallulah Johnson
  • Leakesville – Gabriella Grace Langston
  • Lincoln County – Ali Claire Hall
  • Magee – Breanna Jones
  • Marion County – Marion Jordan
  • Mendenhall – Genevieve Grubbs
  • Meridian – Kennedy McDaniel
  • Natchez – Marella Atkins
  • Neshoba County – Cameron King
  • Panola County – Alaina Brooke Masterson
  • Pearl River County – Abeni Barrett
  • Petal – Lillie Grace Hartfield
  • Pontotoc County – Hatleigh Hamblin
  • Rankin County – Kayden Mangum
  • Starkville – Cathryn Ryder
  • Stone County – JaeLen Ferris Leidigh
  • Walthall County – Kenadie Elizabeth Harrington
  • Wayne County – Masie Atkinson
  • Yazoo County – Bre'Onna Moore

Tickets to the 2018 Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition are available online at HattiesburgSaenger.com or by calling the Saenger Theater Box Office at 601.584.4888. Tickets can also be purchased at the Saenger in advance or at the door.

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