Miss Tennessee Week 2016 officially kicks off with meet and greet

JACKSON, Tenn. — Thirty-six young women have made their way to the Hub City this weekend to compete for the title of Miss Tennessee.

Contestants made their first public appearances together Sunday afternoon.

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 8.54.29 PMThe Miss Tennessee Pageant 2016 contestants debuted at the Old Hickory Mall for their annual met and greet with the public.

Hundreds of people came out to wish the young women the best of luck and kick off Miss Tennessee week.

“It’s fantastic to be here and to be in front of the community, this is our first appearance at at the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant,” Miss Music Row 2016 Kristen Gallant said.

The Miss Tennessee contestants were introduced with their Iris Princesses during the meet and greet.

“It’s an absolute whirlwind, so much preparation has gone in over the past year, and this is the absolute culmination of it so I’m really not nervous, but I am so excited,” Miss Jackson 2016 Morgan Fitzgerald.

The women will compete all week in different categories, but ask any of these contestants what this pageant means to them, and they all say it’s for a bigger cause.

“It has definitely given me an opportunity to be able to represent something that I stand for, I’m adopted, and so I am able to share my adoption story and to be able to touch the lives of children everywhere, it’s an honor,” Gallant said.

“This isn’t a beauty pageant, it’s a scholarship pageant, and like I said, these girls that are surrounded by me are the most intelligent, the most service minded, they are going to be the most successful women that I meet in my life,” Fitzgerald said.

The Miss Tennessee Pageant is a long standing tradition in Jackson, and the current Miss Tennessee Hannah Robison said it’s because of the heart of the community.

“I love we have the pageant here in Jackson and the West Tennessee area, it’s the most welcoming area I’m from West Tennessee, so I might be partial, but everyone just welcomes the pageant and the program the girls every single year with open arms,” she said.

The pageant competition officially starts Wednesday night at the Carl Perkins Center.

Stay with WBBJ all week for the latest coverage on all things Miss Tennessee.

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