HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Sandals and t-shirts will be traded in for heels and evening gowns as 35 women compete for the title of Miss Hospitality 2014.
In it's 65th year the pageant continues to unite young, involved women from all over the state.
"Some of these young ladies will go on to college together, they may even be college roommates together. And I love that there's special
connections and special opportunities for them that they recognize later on in life," said Susan Slaughter, the pageant's Executive Director.
The pageant's mission is to promote economic development and tourism industries throughout the state, and some contestants already have big plans.
"My family owns a small business in petal, so it's a big dream of mine to be able to promote the bridge between big and small business throughout
state to just create a rising economy," said Miss Petal Nicolet Hopper.
Current crown holder Hailey Thomas says her experience from the pageant last year, and travel after winning was more rewarding than she
expected, "Not only learning more about the state of Mississippi, but honestly learning more about myself."
Here's the contestant's schedule for the rest of the week:
Wednesday: Contestant Autograph Signing, Hattiesburg Zoo - 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Friday: Hospitality Pageant, Saegner Theatre - 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
Saturday: Hospitality Pageant, Saegner Theatre - 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
Miss Hospitality Winner's Reception - Immediately following the pageant, City Hall
3221 South Evans Street
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