HEADED TO HATTIESBURG

Send-off event held for Starkville Miss Hos­pi­tal­ity

Starkville Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By RYAN PHILLIPS editor@starkvilledai­lynews.com

Robert Stringer founght back tears as he lis­tened to his daugh­ter de­scribe the as­pects that make the state of Mis­sis­sippi great.

His daugh­ter, Kathryn Stringer, a 21-year-old up­com­ing se­nior English ma­jor at Mis­sis­sippi State Univer­sity, will rep­re­sent Starkville at the statewide Miss Hos­pi­tal­ity Com­pe­ti­tion in Hattiesburg next week.

At a small event in the Part­ner­ship lobby Fri­day af­ter­noon, Stringer showed off her dresses, re­cited her speech and com­mer­cial for the com­pe­ti­tion, and thanked all of the peo­ple who have sup­ported her along the way.

“To­day was prob­a­bly the most ner­vous I've been, be­cause when I looked around it was lit­er­ally ev­ery­one who was so im­por­tant to me in my life,” Stringer said. “But in front of other peo­ple I ob­vi­ously get pumped up with mu­sic then I just change that nerve en­ergy into good en­ergy, I prob­a­bly dance too much.”

The com­pe­ti­tion, started in 1949, is open to women ages 18-24.

Stringer will com­pete against oth­ers from across the state, but will be­gin with re­hearsals for the first part of the week. On Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day, she will do in­ter­views with judges and on Fri­day morn­ing will com­pete in the speech por­tion of the event. She will give her open­ing state­ment, give the same com­mer­cial speech

she gave at her send-off party and com­pete in the evening gown por­tion.

Satur­day will see the com­pe­ti­tion's top 10 com­pete.

To stay mo­ti­vated, Stringer says she re­lies on prayer and mu­sic, namely the score from “The Great­est Show­man” mu­si­cal film.

“I've made a playlist that's very near and dear to my heart,” she said. “I named it ‘Gen­teel Steel' - that's a phrase my un­cle used to de­scribe my grand­mother one time, so it's full of in­spi­ra­tional songs, pump up songs so every day be­fore I give a speech and every day be­fore I study for the day, I lis­ten to that just to get me amped up.”

Her mother, Liz Stringer, was also in at­ten­dance and praised her daugh­ter for her in­de­pen­dent nature.

“It's been great and it's been very different, her sis­ter did this two years ago and that was the first time I ever ex­pe­ri­enced the Mis­sis­sippi Miss Hos­pi­tal­ity world, so it was all kind of new to me,” Liz Stringer said, re­fer­ring to her old­est daugh­ter Mary El­iz­a­beth, who won the com­pe­ti­tion at the state level two years ago.

“This time, I feel like I was more ready to help her,” she con­tin­ued. “But Kathryn is so in­de­pen­dent she did ev­ery­thing on her own. All I did was drive her around, help her do some shop­ping but ev­ery­thing else is all Kathryn so it's been won­der­ful.”

Starkville Miss Hos­pi­tal­ity Di­rec­tor An­gella Baker said Stringer will make all of her ap­pear­ances in Starkville and will make an ap­pear­ance at Forks & Corks to hand out awards on Aug. 25.

“I'm re­ally ex­cited about Kathryn, she's an awe­some young lady and go­ing to rep­re­sent Starkville re­ally, re­ally well on the state stage and we look for­ward to see­ing her shine,” Baker said.

The com­pe­ti­tion can be viewed on Face­book Live at the Mis­sis­sippi Miss Hos­pi­tal­ity Com­pe­ti­tion Face­book page at 8 p.m. on Fri­day.

(Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)

Starkville Miss Hos­pi­tal­ity Kathryn Stringer (left) speaks to guests at a send-off party on Fri­day as Lit­tle Miss Hos­pi­tal­ity Cathryn Rose Ry­der looks on.

(Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)

Seven-year-old Cathryn Rose Ry­der is Lit­tle Miss Hos­pi­tal­ity for Starkville. She is an up­com­ing sec­ond grader at Hen­der­son Ward Ste­wart Ele­men­tary and is the daugh­ter of Ja­son and Sarah Ry­der.

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