Callie Farris was in the process of being named Hattiesburg’s representative for the 2020 Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the Pine Belt.
Normally, the crowning moment is a ceremony that includes a photographer, loved ones and making cherished memories. This year looked a lot different as her crowning was expedited so she could step into the role of Hattiesburg’s Miss Hospitality.
“We don’t know what the immediate future holds, but I do know that crowning moments don’t matter. Supporting my community through one of its hardest times does matter. I’m going to do everything I can to help ensure Hattiesburg thrives,” said Farris.
Miss Hospitality is tasked with promoting her hometown and state as a goodwill ambassador for economic development and tourism. Through the recent pandemic, her role as Hattiesburg’s Miss Hospitality has shifted to become even more necessary.
“Small business, arts and culture, shopping, dining, health care, universities and community events make Hattiesburg’s environment and quality of life invaluable. The economic impact of the pandemic on businesses has yet to be determined. A championing figure is needed now more than ever before. Callie is that champion, and she is ready to support Hattiesburg through COVID-19 and through its healing,” said competition officials.
Farris, 21, is the daughter of Chris and Dana Farris of the Oak Grove community. She is a graduate of Oak Grove High School and is currently at Mississippi State University pursuing a degree in communication with an emphasis in public relations.
She will compete for the title of Mississippi’s Miss Hospitality July 17-18 at the Historic Saenger Theater in downtown Hattiesburg.