Miss Hospitality competition kicks heats up | News
Mississippi's annual Miss Hospitality pageant kicked off Monday with a press conference at Hattiesburg's Saenger Theater. There are 35 teens competing to be the state's premiere hostess this year.
Pageant Board of Directors President Susan Slaughter says it's not just a pretty face. "We are absolutely looking for a well rounded lady, beautiful on the inside and out. Who is well spoken, articulate, can express her ideas about Mississippi ... and greets the public well."
There will be five judges ruling on the winner - some are from the tourism community and others are community leaders. The winning woman is expected to be an state ambassador, helping to make the Magnolia State hospitable economically and for visitors as well.
Last year's winner Ann Claire Reynolds said it will be bittersweet to give up the crown. "It's not a certain event or a certain place I went, its the people I met," she said. "For Miss Hospitality of 2012 I encourage her to embrace every person that she meets, to just get to know them and really take the chance and savor the moment when speaking with each person she meets. Because that really makes the year"
There's a week of activities planned for the girls, including a tour of local historical sites, plenty of dance rehearsals, a scavenger hunt at the Hattiesburg Zoo. The pageant will begin Friday and run through Saturday at the Saenger Theater.