Lincoln County Miss Hospitality competes for state title this week
Published 2:05 pm Monday, July 11, 2022
Brookhaven’s Lindsey Leigh Norton is representing the city and Lincoln County this week in the 73rd Mississippi Miss Hospitality competition.
The annual event is July 15-16 at 8 p.m. each night in the historic Hattiesburg Saenger Theater.
The daughter of Shane and Leigh Ann Norton, the recent Copiah-Lincoln Community College graduate plans to attend the Mississippi College School of Nursing in the fall. She plans to become a pediatric nurse practitioner based in Brookhaven.
“I’m so excited for the state competition,” Norton said. “While it is nerve-racking, I’m excited to get some great interview experience. I am also excited to get to spend some time with Mississippi’s brightest and best young ladies. I know they will all leave an impact on me.”
More than 40 women are competing this week for the state title. The winner will serve a full year as Mississippi’s official ambassador of economic development and tourism.
“We are eager to welcome participants and supporters to Hattiesburg for state competition again this year,” said Kristen Brock, Mississippi Miss Hospitality program director. “Showcasing the importance of tourism and economic development is key to our state’s future, and we look forward to a week of displaying the achievements and service to community and state by these emerging leaders.”
Representing Brookhaven as a Little Miss Hospitality is Meridith Grace Porter. Five years ago, the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition added a Little Miss Hospitality component, which encourages local representatives to serve as a mentor to a young girl between the ages of 6 and 10 from her hometown. If crowned the next Mississippi Miss Hospitality, the contestant’s Little Miss will serve alongside her as she fulfills her duties and responsibilities as Mississippi’s goodwill ambassador.
“I’m hoping that my Little Miss, Meridith Porter, takes away from this experience that she can do anything,” Norton said. “I hope she sees how important it is to support your local community and to learn about your home state. Most importantly, I hope to show my Little Miss to always have confidence in herself.”
Throughout this competition week in Hattiesburg, contestants will attend social events, participate in community service projects and attend rehearsals and competitions. Sponsorships and patrons allow the Mississippi Miss Hospitality program to award more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes to contestants each year.
“We are delighted to be hosting these talented women and their Little Misses in Hattiesburg for this year’s competition,” said Marlo Dorsey, executive director of Mississippi Miss Hospitality. “Their love of community and state has been tremendously inspiring, and we look forward to seeing their continued growth and leadership development for years to come.”
Leading up to competition week, contestants are participating in a social media challenge with informative and entertaining posts that showcase their hometowns and journey to competition. The winner of the challenge will be awarded an additional scholarship.
Hometowns are encouraged to interact with their local contestants online to show their support. Posts can be found using the hashtag #MSHosp2022 on Instagram and Facebook.
Attendees to on-stage competition on Friday and Saturday will enjoy entertaining productions, with vocal and dance performances by contestants and local talent. The finale is set for Saturday evening at 8 p.m., where the top 10 contestants will be announced at the top of the show and continue to compete for the title.
Tickets can be purchased online at HattiesburgSaenger.com or by calling the Saenger Theater Box Office at 601-584-4888. Tickets are expected to sell out, so pre-purchases are encouraged.
The public is invited to meet the contestants and their Little Misses at the Miss Hospitality autograph party at Turtle Creek Mall in Hattiesburg on Friday, July 15, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Admission to the autograph party is free.