‘Speechless’ Holly Brand expresses surprise, gratitude for being next Miss Mississippi
Published 10:48 pm Saturday, June 26, 2021
When Miss Golden Triangle Holly Brand realized she would be the next Miss Mississippi she dropped to the ground holding the hands of first runner-up Vivian O’Neal. Even as the moment became real for Brand, the Meridian native continued to show her surprise and gratitude to the judges and to the thousands of people witnessing the moment.
“Speechless,” Brand said. “I’m very excited to be at Miss America for the 100th anniversary. I’m also excited about my Building the Brand initiative, which emphasizes the four points of the crown: service, style, scholarship and success.”
The winner of the 2021 Miss Mississippi Competition and recipient of a $10,000 scholarship provided by Ameristar Casino and Hotel Brand was a double winner from the week’s preliminary rounds. Brand took home Talent and Red Carpet honors on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
She is a Meridian, Miss., native who earned a communications degree from the University of Alabama.
A vocalist, Brand performed “Up To The Mountain,” a song written for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to clinch the crown.
For her social impact initiative, she chose volunteerism: advocating for the importance of community service by tackling relevant community concerns and working to find solutions while encouraging others to do the same.
Brand was previously a Mississippi Outstanding Teen titleholder in 2017.
The first alternate to Miss Mississippi and recipient of a $7,500 scholarship provided by the Miss Mississippi Corporation is Miss University of Southern Mississippi Vivian O’Neal.
The second alternate and recipient of a $4,000 scholarship provided by David and Katherine McRae and a $1,000 scholarship provided by the Miss Mississippi Corporation is Miss Jones County Caidyn Crowder. Like Brand, Crowder was also a double preliminary winner, securing Red Carpet and Talent honors on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.
The third alternate and recipient of a $2,500 scholarship provided by Rusty’s Riverfront Grill and a $500 scholarship provided by the Miss Mississippi Corporation is Miss Pine Belt Macy Mitchell.
The fourth alternate and recipient of a $1,500 scholarship provided by Mutual Credit Union and a $1,000 scholarship provided by the Miss Mississippi Corporation is Miss Pearl of the South Rachel Shumaker.
The five remaining semi-finalists were each recipient of a $2,000 scholarship provided by the Miss Mississippi Corporation. Their names are: Miss Midtown Pointe Grace McClanahan, Miss Hattiesburg Emmie Perkins, Miss Mississippi State Leah Boyd and Miss Hinds Community College Charity Lockridge, of Vicksburg.