Harriss fulfills wish by serving as queen

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 17, 2004

NATCHEZ &045;&045; Anne Harriss always has dreamed of walking out at the pageant with the big dress, the crown on her head and the scepter in her hand.

&uot;I’ve always said I was going to be queen ever since I was little,&uot; Harriss said.

Her dream came true, as Harriss is serving as the 2004 Queen for the Pilgrimage Garden Club.

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Now that she is wearing the &uot;big dress,&uot; it had to be perfect.

It was very important for her to have a dress that reflected the time period accurately, she said. So, she and Ann Tillman designed the dress, looking back to the time period for guidance. Tillman made the dress but both ladies took a hand in designing it, starting last May on the preparations.

They ordered the fabric from Italy, which had to be handmade. Once it came in, they just started working with ideas until the final creation came to fruition.

&uot;Everything just fell into place,&uot; Harriss said.

But, perhaps her love of art prompted Harriss to take a particularly hands-on interest in the making of her dress for queen.

She began her love of art when she was in the 10th grade at Cathedral. Harriss said she really enjoys painting in oils but also likes to draw using pen and inks. Although, she does not have a favorite subject, per say.

&uot;I love painting flowers and butterflies and dragonflies, but I have no particulars,&uot; she said. Calling it something she just &uot;fell into,&uot; it is also something she really enjoys.

Harriss said she has even thought about attending art school this summer in South Carolina, but right now it is more of a hobby than a career interest.

When she is not serving as queen, Harriss attends Co-Lin and works at Miss-Lou Magazine, doing everything from selling advertising to delivering newspapers.

Harriss is in her third year in college, having spent her first year at Ole Miss before coming back home to Natchez. Harriss is studying to pursue a career working with children, she said.

But, that is not where Hariss’ days end. She started modeling about a year ago after a woman began taking pictures of her at a family function and told her all about it. She took a semester off of college to go to modeling school.

She has worked for Mississippi Talent Search out of Jackson and About Face out of New Orleans.

&uot;It’s wonderful,&uot; she said of modeling. Right now it is more of hobby, she said, &uot;but if it did grow, I wouldn’t push it away.&uot;

Being the queen is something the 21-year-old calls &uot;an honor.&uot;

Pageant has always been a part of life for the 2001 Cathedral graduate. She has served in Little Maypole and Big Maypole, has served as a placard bearer and has been in the picnic and the polka.

Also, Harriss’s brother, Kaiser, always has participated in the pageant, even serving as Jefferson Davis in the wedding.

But this year’s role in pageant is not as easy as it sounds, Harriss said.

&uot;It’s a fairy tale,&uot; Harriss said. But, &uot;it’s really a lot of hard work and you have to commit yourself to it.&uot; And, there are the nerves behind it.

The parties and being the center of attention &045;&045; that is the good part.

It is also a time to be a role model to the pages that assist the queen.

&uot;It’s great, it makes you feel good,&uot; she said.