There will be masks, but no autographs. Miss Mississippi competition is back with a few changes.

Published 6:33 am Friday, May 7, 2021

The Miss Mississippi Competition was put on hold last year due to the pandemic, but with the decline in COVID cases, candidates who were planning to compete for the title will have to wait no longer.

Preliminary competitions are set to kick off June 23 and will continue for three consecutive nights. The fourth and final night of the competition will be held June 26 and a winner will be crowned 2021 Miss Mississippi.

All competitions will be held at the Vicksburg Convention Center, 1600 Dr. Briggs Hopson Blvd.

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This year, while most of the traditions of the competition will remain, a few adjustments have been made to ensure the candidates remain healthy, Miss Mississippi Corporation executive director David Blackledge said.

“Miss America has a COVID protocol that all the states will be following for the protection of our candidates,” Blackledge said.

This will begin with all of the candidates testing negative for the virus before making their way to the River City.

And once here, Blackledge said, they will be monitored daily throughout the week to ensure the safety of everyone.

Also in an effort to ensure the candidates remain healthy, the autograph session that has typically followed the Miss Mississippi Parade will not be held.

The autograph sessions, which in the past were hosted downtown and at George Carr Buick GMC, will continue.

“Social distancing will be observed at these events,” Blackledge said.

During the competition, candidates will not be required to wear a mask on stage when they are competing individually, but they will be donning face coverings during the group performances.

Masks will also be required of audience members once inside the convention center, and, “If the conditions continue to remain as they are,” Blackledge said, “We will be able to have 100 percent capacity with masks at the Vicksburg Convention Center.”

Like most businesses, the Miss Mississippi Corporation was financially impacted by the pandemic.

The event will still be televised, Blackledge said, but this year it will be live-streamed.

“We are doing a live stream feed through all of the television stations that have carried the competition in the past. By doing the live stream it will save the organization a considerable amount of money in production cost during this pandemic year,” he said.

The preliminary competitions for the Miss Mississippi Competition will start at 7 p.m. and be held June 23 through 25. The final night of competition and crowning will begin at 8 p.m. June 26.

Tickets are $125 for all four competitions.

For more information, call 601-638-6746.