A night of honors at Miss Mississippi pageant - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

A night of honors at Miss Mississippi pageant

The 55th edition of the Miss Mississippi pageant is underway in Vicksburg. Thursday night the second round of preliminary winners was announced: Miss Natchez Trace Chelsea Rick won Swimwear and Miss USM Grace Claire Cordes took Talent.

Wednesday night, there were many celebrations on the stage of the Vicksburg Convention Center, including recognizing a former Miss Mississippi who wore the crown 50 years ago. 

Charlie Carroll Raye was Miss Mississippi in 1962. In celebration of 55 years of the pageant in Vicksburg, she is back on stage, dancing and singing. The two volunteers of the year were also honored. The celebration continued for two contestants who won in the talent and swimwear competition. In talent, Miss Mississippi State University sang her way to victory. 

"It feels great because singing is something I really have a passion for, something that I love to do and so getting awarded in that area of my life you know is the greatest honor," said Stephanie Stanford. 

Thursday night, Stanford competes in evening wear and on-stage question. She says she is not taking the win for granted but says there are still two more nights of competition to go. 

It's a huge honor to win on such a hard talent night, absolutely. I mean all of these girls would have been equally deserving, so I'm very honored to have this." 

In swimwear, Breanne Ponder took first place. She was Miss Mississippi USA in 2010. This is the first time she is competing at Miss Mississippi. She competes in talent Thursday night. 

"I'll be singing, it's called ‘Cry Me a River'. I say that and everybody assumes Justin Timberlake, no it's not Justin Timberlake, Arthur Knight wrote it and it's really a kind of a jazzy, sultry song so I sound like a man but it works," said Ponder. 

There is one more night of preliminary competition as we get closer to Saturday night and finding out who will make the top 10 and finally the crown of Miss Mississippi 2012. 

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