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Mills Will Compete In Hospitality Pageant

HATTIESBURG – Austin Brooke Mills will represent Water Valley in the Mississippi Miss  Hospitality Pageant, August 1st and 2nd at the Saenger Theater in downtown  Hattiesburg.

Miss Mills is the 18-year-old daughter of Tim and Lisa Mills and is a graduate at Water Valley High School.

“We are thrilled to have 38 contestants this year,” said Traci Rouse, Pageant Coordinator.  “This pageant highlights the best and brightest young ladies in the state.”

The contestants arrive in Hattiesburg on Sunday, July 27th to experience a full week of rehearsals, special events and competition.  The culmination of the week is the crowning of the new Miss Hospitality, which begins with the preliminary competition on Friday, August 1st and the final competition on Saturday, August 2nd.  The pageant will begin at 8 p.m. both nights.

The theme of this year’s pageant is Broadway and will include production numbers from various award-winning Broadway musicals, including The Phantom of the Opera, Dream Girls and Hairspray.  Hattiesburg native Jeanna Runnels and Sachin Bhatt from New York will provide entertainment. Chuck Steelman of Dallas will serve as pageant emcee.

Rebekah Staples, Mississippi Miss Hospitality 2007, will participate in the week’s festivities and also be featured during the pageant.  

“I’m very excited about the pageant week,” said Staples, who won the state title while representing her hometown of Laurel.  “The Miss Hospitality organization truly rolls out the red carpet.”

For the past year, Miss Staples has represented the state as its Goodwill Ambassador, sharing hospitality throughout the state and country.  Sponsored by the Mississippi Development Authority, Miss Hospitality travels more than 30,000 miles promoting tourism and economic development for the state of Mississippi.

Tickets for the pageant are on sale now and can be purchased online at or by calling (601) 268-3220.  The Mississippi Miss Hospitality pageant is presented by VISITHATTIESBURG, the University of Southern Mississippi and the City of Hattiesburg.  For more information on the pageant, visit

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