Miss USA is parade grand marshal

Published 8:00 am Saturday, November 27, 2021

The grand marshal for the 2021 Brookhaven Christmas Parade is a native Mississippian who has made a national impact.

Miss USA 2020 Asya Branch will lead the city’s parade Thursday, Dec. 2. Branch made history as the first black Miss Mississippi USA and was the first Miss Mississippi USA to win the Miss USA crown.

A native of the Northeast Mississippi town of Booneville, Branch left her hometown for the first time at age 17, to attend summer school at Harvard University. This life-changing experience led her to accept every challenge and opportunity thrown her way while encouraging others to do the same.

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Branch is a student at the University of Mississippi and plans to work in sports marketing after completing her degree. She also runs her own cosmetic line, Branch Beauty, which she turned from a hobby into a lucrative business.

The parade, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Brookhaven, will follow a different route this year. The parade will begin at the corner of South Jackson and West Cherokee streets, next to Mary Lampton Auditorium and the Dep. Donald William Durr, Cpl. Zach Moak and Patrolman James White Memorial Post Office.

The procession will turn right under the Home Seekers Paradise sign onto South Whitworth Avenue, then cross the railroad track on West Chickasaw Street before turning left again onto South Railroad Avenue. The final turn of the parade will be a left at East Monticello Street.