By The Associated Press
VICKSBURG— First of three nights of preliminary rounds at the 55th Miss Mississippi Pageant begin Wednesday night at the Vicksburg Convention Center.
The 42 competitors arrived in Vicksburg on Sunday and joined a parade in downtown Vicksburg on Monday.
Preliminary competitions are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. The new Miss Mississippi will be crowned Saturday night by 2011 winner Mary Margaret Roark.
Of the 42 contestants, 22 are first-time competitors, and four are in their fourth year of competition. One, Miss Dixie Marie Wicks, a 22-year-old Ocean Springs native, is back in Vicksburg for her fifth shot at the crown. She was second runner-up last year.