Oxford’s Isabella Moak in Miss Hospitality Pageant

Published 6:00 am Sunday, July 17, 2016

As the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant celebrates 67 years of hospitality and grace, 27 of Mississippi’s best and brightest young ladies will take the stage to compete for the 2016 title — a title that comes with a ticket to travel thousands of miles promoting the state’s economic development and tourism programs.

Experience southern elegance and tradition at the 67th Annual Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant on July 22-23 at the Historic Saenger Theater in Downtown Hattiesburg.

Isabella Moak will represent Oxford as one of 27 contestants competing for the title of Miss Hospitality. Moak is a rising junior at the University of Mississippi where she is majoring in elementary education and plans to teach in a Mississippi public school after graduating. Moak is a Chancellor’s List honor roll student, a member of Chi Omega and enjoys serving as a recruitment assistant.

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This year’s theme, “Destination Hospitality,” showcases that no matter where you travel, you can always come back home to find hospitality and grace in Mississippi. The pageant originally began in 1949 under then-Governor Fielding Wright and the Mississippi Legislature. Since then, the pageant has called the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Starkville and now, Hattiesburg home. Presented by Visit Hattiesburg and the Mississippi Development Authority, in conjunction with Forrest General Hospital, the University of Southern Mississippi and the City of Hattiesburg, the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant offers more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes to the top finalists.

Erin Morgan, 22, of Laurel, won the title of Mississippi Miss Hospitality 2015 last July and has worn the crown with poise, sharing Mississippi’s trademark Hospitality with everyone she encounters. Erin recently began her studies in Physical Therapy at the University of Mississippi Medical School in Jackson. She completed her undergraduate degree at Mississippi State, and served as a Roadrunner Student Recruiter, was involved with Shackouls Honors College, and Chi Omega Sorority. Throughout her reign, Erin has traveled across the state as Mississippi’s Goodwill Ambassador.

During the Pageant Week, contestants will explore Hattiesburg, attend social events, and participate in rehearsals and competitions, all leading up to the crowning of the 2016 Mississippi Miss Hospitality. Guests of this year’s pageant will experience a night filled with excitement throughout the production and discover why Miss Hospitality has been celebrated throughout the state since 1949.

Every year Miss Hospitality generates $450,000 in economic impact for the local Hattiesburg economy as visitors come to stay in area hotels, eat at local restaurants and make purchases at local shops.

Tickets to the 2016 Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant may be purchased by calling the Saenger Theater Box Office at 601-584-4888, or online at HattiesburgSaenger.com.

For more information about the Pageant, contact the State pageant Office at 601-268-3220 or mshosp@hattiesburg.org. Additional pageant information can be found online at www.MissHospitality.com.