Meridian Star

February 3, 2013

Jimmie Rodgers, Miss Hospitality pageants partner together

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Two well-known, well-established pageants are partnering together to offer young ladies an amazing experience.

    The Jimmie Rodgers and Meridian/Lauderdale County Miss Hospitality Pageants will be held Saturday, March 2, at the historic Temple Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Meridian.  Interviews will be conducted during the day from 1-3:30 p.m. and the onstage portion of the competition will start at 7 p.m.

    "I'm thrilled to be working with Barbara Watson and the organizers of the Jimmie Rodgers Pageant," said Penny Randall, director of the Meridian/Lauderdale County Miss Hospitality Pageant. "Both pageants are about tourism and promoting our wonderful attractions in the area. The winners will serve as ambassadors for the community at various functions throughout the year."    Contestants entering the Jimmie Rodgers Pageant will need to be between the ages of 4 and 17 – age groups are 4-6; 7-9; 10-13; and 14-17. They will compete in interview, western/railroad wear and model a pageant dress.

    "Both the Jimmie Rodgers Pageant and Miss Hospitality are natural pageants," said Barbara Watson. "The focus is to select young ladies who are well spoken, poised and confident who can represent the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation and Miss Hospitality during the Jimmie Rodgers Festival, as well as throughout the year at events such as Meridian Day at the Neshoba County Fair, Jimmie Rodgers' Birthday Party and the Meridian Christmas Parade."

    Unlike Miss Hospitality, contestants in Jimmie Rodgers pageant do not have to be from the area. The entry fee for Jimmie Rodgers pageant is $50. Most Photogenic optional is $10 and t-shirts are $18. The deadline to enter is Feb. 22.  

    Contestants entering either the Meridian or Lauderdale County Miss Hospitality pageant must be between ages 18-24, a resident of the city or county, never been married or have children. Contestants must be currently or planning to pursue a higher education. They will compete in a 10-minute interview, present at 20-second commercial onstage promoting Meridian or Lauderdale County while modeling a black cocktail dress, and finally model a formal gown. The only cost to enter Miss Hospitality is $18 for a T-shirt that will be worn throughout the year at events.

    Both Miss Hospitality winners will receive a full tuition scholarship for the 2013-14 academic year to Meridian Community College. The first and second alternates will receive a one-half tuition scholarship for the same academic year.

    All winners will receive a crown, custom satin sash as well as admission to Jimmie Rodgers sponsored concerts and functions for themselves and one parent or guardian.

The winner of Miss Hospitality will represent the city and county in the state program held in July in Hattiesburg. She will compete for more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes. The winner will travel more than 30,000 miles during her reign, promoting Mississippi's tourism and economic development and serving as the state's goodwill ambassador, sharing the spirit of the hospitality state with everyone she meets.

    The mission of the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant is identify, honor, and utilize young ladies, between the ages of 18 and 24, for the purpose of promoting Mississippi's tourism, industry, and economic development by serving as Mississippi's Goodwill Ambassador.

    The sponsor for the Meridian/Lauderdale County Miss Hospitality Program is the Lauderdale County Tourism Office.