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Local competing for state crown
by Reggie Ross, Staff Writer
Jul 10, 2014 | 154 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
VICKSBURG -- This weekend, Ana Nicole Blakely of Winona will be competing against 40 other Mississippi beauties for a shot at Miss Mississippi. The winner will move on to compete in the Miss America pageant.

Blakely, 18, is currently competing as Miss Desoto County in the Miss Mississippi pageant, which started Wednesday and continues through Saturday at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

“Everything has been so surreal,” Blakely told The Winona Times Tuesday during afternoon practice sessions. “Right now, we’re rehearsing for the festivities this week. It’s an awesome feeling.”

Starting Wednesday, Blakely’s Miss Mississippi schedule will begin with the talent competition. The evening gown competition begins Thursday, with the swimsuit competition taking place Friday night. The Pageant will conclude Saturday night when the winner is crowned.

Blakely’s talent will consist of a dance routine and her platform is the Anti-Bullying League.

“It was an overwhelming experience first, but everyone here is so helpful,” Blakely said. “This is the most fun I’ve had in all of the pageants I’ve been a part of.”

Blakely, the 2014 graduate of Winona Christian School, competes as the 2014 Miss Desoto County, a crown she earned after competing in three of its open preliminaries. Montgomery County does not offer a Miss Mississippi preliminary pageant in the system.

In the fall, Blakely will attend Northwest Mississippi Community College on a cheer scholarship. At Northwest Mississippi CC she will major in business administration. At WCS, Blakely was a member of the Beta Club, a Drama Award recipient and a top finish in the school’s graduating class.

Blakely said she is also appreciative of the support she has gained from the community via social media through family, friends and classmates.

“The support has been great from the community,” Blakely said. “Everyone has wrapped their arms around me and it feels great. This is just one more thing I can add to my plate, and I’m loving it.”

Blakely is the daughter of Kris and Tonya Blakely of Winona.

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