Area Miss Hospitality contestants ready to compete for state crown

Published 1:00 pm Sunday, July 7, 2024

The 75th Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition is July 12-13 at the Hattiesburg Saenger The-ater. Forty-two women will represent all regions of the state, with the winner serving a one-year term as Mississippi’s official ambassador for economic development and tourism.

“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 community service of these emerging leaders,” said program director Kristen Brock. “Retaining the incredible talent harnessed by our contestants is a priority, so we’re especially proud to offer the largest in-state scholarship opportunities in program history.”

Throughout the week, contestants will attend social events, participate in community service projects, and attend rehearsals and competitions. 

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The competition also has a Little Miss Hospitality component, which encourages local representatives to serve as a mentor to a young girl from her hometown, age 6-10. If crowned the next Mississippi Miss Hospitality, the contestant’s Little Miss will serve alongside her as she fulfills her duties and responsibilities.

Representing Lawrence County in the Miss Hospitality competition is Allison Knight. Knight is pursuing nursing as a freshman at East Central Community College, while playing basketball for the Warriors. In high school, she was on the student council, and was on the basketball, volleyball, track, and softball teams. Knight was 11th-grade homecoming maid, two-time district champion, and a two-time district basketball player. She also earned the team captain award in basketball. 

She enjoys basketball, cooking, traveling and fishing. Knight’s Little Miss is McKenzie Leigh Dorsey. 

Representing Pike County is Sarah Grace Karas, a recent graduate of Southwest Mis-sissippi Community College, where she was co-captain of the Redline dance team, a featured Stage Band dancer, a member of Phi Theta Kappa, Baptist Student Union, and choir. She is a dance teacher and professional choreographer. 

Karas will attend The University of Southern Mississippi in the fall, continuing her studies in elementary education. She plans to teach fourth-sixth grades in Mississippi. Her Little Miss is Raelyn Ann Knippers.

Parklane Academy senior Leah Kate Mallette is representing Walthall County. Mallette will attend Mississippi College in the fall on the Leland Speed Scholarship, majoring in biomedical sciences with plans to be an obstetrician. She plans to continue her education at The University of Mississippi Medical Center. 

Mallette is president of Mu Alpha Theta and Honors Society at Parklane, and ranked in the top 10 of her class. Her Little Miss Hospitality is Maci Grace Carney.