Local beauties vie for Miss Hospitality

Published 11:50 am Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Katelynn Kirkendall will represent her hometown of Oxford in the 75th Diamond Jubilee Celebration of the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant Competition at the historic Hattiesburg Saenger Theater July 12-13, 2024.

Kirkendall is the daughter of Craig and Neeli Kirkendall, and a senior at Lafayette High School. She is an active member of the Oxford/Lafayette community because she loves to serve. 

She was a member of the Oxford/Lafayette Junior Leadership Council sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce from 2021-22, and represented Oxford as a board member of the Northeast Mississippi Youth Foundation from 2022- 23.. 

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Kirkendall also represented the Oxford/Lafayette community at the Mississippi Cooperative Leaders Workshop at the Mississippi Capitol in March 2023 and attended the Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., in the summer 2023. 

She has been a member of the Lafayette choir for seven years and held positions such as section leader and librarian. She also was a member of the 2021 state runner-up and 2022 5A State Champion Lafayette Girls Golf team. 

She is the current Miss Lafayette Most Beautiful and has been selected as Miss Congeniality for two consecutive years. She has represented Oxford as Miss Oxford Teen Volunteer, won the People’s Choice Award and received the Claire Ulmer Congeniality Scholarship. 

Kirkendall attends Community Church, Oxford. When not busy with school activities, she enjoys fishing and working at SnoBiz and Rainbow Cleaners.

In its 27th year as host city, Hattiesburg will showcase this year’s best and brightest young women as they compete for the title of Mississippi’s Miss Hospitality. Women who represent all regions of the state will vie for the title of Mississippi’s Miss Hospitality, with the winner serving for a full year as the state’s official ambassador for economic development and tourism. 

In 2018, the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition added a Little Miss Hospitality component, which encourages local representatives to serve as a mentor throughout her reign to a young girl from her hometown between the ages of 6-10. 


Returning this year, the program allows Little Misses to appear on-stage during competition and participate in official events. 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.

Marion Bishop of Oxford has been awarded Little Miss Oxford Hospitality 2024. She is the 7-year-old daughter of Sarah Brooke and Jeb Bishop. She is a second-grader at Della Davidson Elementary School. Bishop enjoys dance, gymnastics, tennis and Girl Scouts. She attends Pinelake Church.

Tickets to the on-stage production are expected to go on sale in early June. In the meantime, Kirkendall and Bishop will spend their time representing their hometown, supporting Oxford businesses and events and preparing for the state competition. 

More information on their official crowning ceremony, send-off party, ad sales, the 2024-25 Oxford Miss Hospitality Pageant and how to help support their journeys can be found on the Oxford’s Miss Hospitality’s Facebook page and Instagram.