Miss Hospitality says Natchez is Mississippi’s ‘crown jewel’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 8, 2001

Melanie Foster, Natchez’s newly selected Miss Natchez Hospitality, calls her hometown the &uot;crown jewel&uot; of Mississippi.

&uot;It’s the true flavor of the South&uot; Foster said, in a short speech promoting her hometown.

Foster was selected as Natchez’s Miss Natchez Hospitality Saturday by two judges with the Natchez-Adams Chamber of Commerce.

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&uot;I’m very excited,&uot; Foster said about her new title. &uot;I think it will be a good opportunity.&uot;

As the local winner, Foster will &uot;sell&uot; her hometown at the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant this summer.

Foster, who is a 21-year-old college student, said her major in public relations was one thing that perked her interest in the pageant.

&uot;You have to be able to relate well with people,&uot; she said.

The pageant will give her a chance to interact with other people and may help prepare her for a career, she said.

She also looks forward to promoting Natchez on the state level.

&uot;I just think it has so much to offer,&uot; Foster said.

That goes for residents as well as tourists, she said.

As she has gotten older, Foster said she has also discovered more things that she likes about her hometown.

&uot;I guess you don’t realize when you’re younger how much there is to do and how much there is to offer (in Natchez),&uot; she said.

Foster is the first person to hold the title of Miss Natchez Hospitality in many years.

The Natchez-Adams Chamber of Commerce revived the tradition this year at the request of the state pageant organization.

&uot;The chamber felt as though this would be a wonderful area for us to become recognized around the state,&uot; said Natchez-Adams Chamber of Commerce board member Jane Kingsafer.

Kingsafer said she did not think Natchez had selected a Miss Natchez Hospitality since at least the 1980s.

In addition to allowing Natchez girls to compete on a state level, the pageant can also serve as way for the community to reach beyond its boundaries, Kingsafer said.

&uot;We thinks this is going to be a wonderful outreach for Natchez as well,&uot; Kingsafer said.

Foster will compete in the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant July 22 to 28 in Hattiesburg.

Foster is a graduate of Trinity Episcopal Day School and the daughter of Glen Foster and Carole Foster.

She is currently attending Mississippi State and majoring in communications with an emphasis in public relations.