Miss Lincoln County makes top 10 in state Miss Hospitality contest
Lincoln County’s Miss Hospitality Aly Floyd has made it into the state competition’s top 10.
Floyd had thought of applying for Miss Hospitality after serving as Miss Merry Christmas in 2018. When the application deadline rolled around this year, she almost didn’t realize it.
Former Miss Hospitality Allie Claire Townsend reached out to Floyd and encouraged her to apply. After getting in touch with the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, she applied.
“I really just said ‘God, if this is your will let it be done,’” Floyd said.
She was named 2020 Miss Hospitality in the spring and her experience has only gone up from there.
“It was really crazy to me,” Floyd said. “It was something I had thought about before, and it kind of snuck up on me. It was overwhelming to know that I had this big opportunity in front of me.”
Floyd said she has enjoyed serving in the position so far.
“With the pandemic, I had an opportunity to serve my community and support them the way they have for me in the past,” Floyd said. “It’s been a lot of fun, honestly.”
Her duties as Miss Hospitality include participating in the annual Christmas parade, Downtown Jazzed Up, ribbon cutting ceremonies and other chamber related events.
“It is a lot of work and can be stressful at times,” Floyd said. “But it’s been so fun to go around Brookhaven and show off what we have here.”
The COVID-19 pandemic kept her from performing her duties in the beginning of her role, but with restrictions beginning to lift she’s been able to go to more events.
“I’ve just had a great time meeting people and being able to get out and see Brookhaven during all of this,” Floyd said.
Floyd is currently competing in the 71st Mississippi Miss Hospitality competition, where she represented Lincoln County in a pool of 36 contestants. The preliminary competition was held virtually due to COVID-19.
“This year it looked a lot different than it has been in the past,” Floyd said.
She prepared for the virtual interview with Chamber Program Director Katie Nations and pageant coach Shannon Miller by completing mock interviews.
“I did a lot of mock interviews since the preliminary interview was virtual,” Floyd said. “We practiced interviewing over the computer. They both just really helped and guided me through this.”
Floyd said that interviewing virtually came with challenges of its own.
“It was definitely strange,” Floyd said. “It’s kind of hard to come off as your normal self across the computer screen, especially to people you haven’t met before.”
She competed in the comfort of her own home and beat out the competition. Floyd advanced to the top 10, where she will compete in person in Hattiesburg.
“I was in shock,” Floyd said. “I just couldn’t believe I made the top 10. I’m super excited to move forward.”
The final competition will take place in July with guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Contestants will perform in a 20 second commercial, along with participating in other portions of the competition.
Floyd said she’s learned and grown a lot during her time as Miss Hospitality.
“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that it’s not the end result that matters,” Floyd said. “We all want to win, but it’s not about that. It’s really the journey I’ll remember the most.”
Floyd, 19, is a rising sophomore majoring in nursing at the Mississippi University for Women.
Story by Gracie Byrne