Junior Miss Program volunteers are worked up to the last minute preparing for the arrival of the 2010 contestants at the Quality Inn of Meridian.
And these young ladies drove from all over the state, eager to meet new friends and to experience a full week of activities.
"I'm so excited, I've been preparing for this all summer. And I've never been more ready for anything else in my life," Mississippi Junior Miss Moss Point Contestant Gia-Rayne Harris said.
"I am so nervous, nervous because I just want them to see me for me and I want to make friends and have a really good time," Mississippi Junior Miss Rankin County Contestant Elizabeth Henry said.
With informational packets in hand, these girls are aware this is far from a beauty pageant as scholastic achievement, poise and character, public speaking, self expression and talent are key focuses of this program that tie into the motto of being your best self.
"We do it simply because we believe in the basics of the program. We enjoy working with the program. We enjoy seeing how they develop into their best self," Mississippi Junior Miss Program State Chairperson Dr. Marc Fisher said.
Something new this year is a community service program partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi. Coordinators say several youth will come to the Temple Theatre on Tuesday for a hands on project with contestants.
The winner will represent Mississippi in America's Junior Miss Program in June but these girls say regardless of the competition, the friendships they will develop and the life changing experience mean more than a title.
"I hope to take away a lot of friendships and fun. I wanna to make a reunion out of this," Harris said.
"And making friends that will last a lifetime," Henry said.