As a child, Miss Vicksburg Anne Elizabeth Buys participated in the Miss Mississippi pageant as a Magnolia Princess.
As she got older, she moved up to the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Pageant and won in 2013, and last year, she was named first-runner up to the big crown.
But after years of being surrounded by title holders, Buys finally took center stage herself Saturday night when she was announced the winner of the Miss Mississippi 2017 pageant.
“The want and desire to be Miss Mississippi has been so strong in me since I was a little girl,” Buys said. “It was a lot of pressure on me this year since I was coming back as first-runner up from last year. But I chose not to think about it, I just decided to be the best version of Anne Elizabeth that I could be this year.”
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The competition, celebrating its 60th year in Vicksburg, began with preliminaries Wednesday night. That first night, Buys took home the top spot in the swimsuit competition, and the next night tied for a talent preliminary win with her dance en pointe to “Viva” by Bond.
“I’m just so excited,” Buys said Saturday night immediately after being crowned. “I’m going to bring home that Miss America crown.”
The rest of the top five included: Miss All America City Asya Branch of Booneville as fourth-runner up, Miss Jones County Brooke Bullock of Petal as third-runner up, Miss Meridian Tanner Fant of Starkville as second-runner up, and Miss Dixie Holly Harrington of Tupelo.
Lucedale native Miss New South Callie Brown was named a Top 10 semi finalist, along with Miss DeSoto County Charley Ann Nix of Batesville, Miss Hattiesburg Mia Hall of Meridian, Miss Neshoba County Fair Miriam Grace Seale of Philadelphia and Miss Mississippi State University Molly May of Houston.