Meridian’s Holly Brand reflects on Miss Mississippi win
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Meridian native, Holly Brand, is the reigning Miss Mississippi and will represent the Magnolia State at the Miss America competition in December.
“I was in just in complete shock,” Brand said. “I mean I have imagined that moment for as long as I can remember. I was just hoping that would happen. But throughout the week, I had been praying that the Lord would just help me accept the plan that he had for my life, whether I would win or not. So, I just wanted to have a good week and be content in performance and I was.”
Brand walked into the competition as Miss Golden Triangle. She won a double preliminary in the talent portion Wednesday and in the evening wear Thursday.
Brand is now the third Meridian woman to hold the title in the last 63 years. This is a moment she says she has dreamed of since she was a little girl.
“I specifically remember, I think it was the 2006 Miss America competition. I don’t even remember who won,” Brand said. “But I do remember the evening gown portion. I got up in the living room and I modeled with the girls on tv, as a 6-year-old. I was looking at my mom asking if I model the right way and if my poses were right. Ever since then, I do not remember not watching Miss America or watching Miss Mississippi. It’s crazy to think there might have been a little girl watching me on the tv Saturday night, modeling with me in my evening gown.”
Brand is a graduate of the University of Alabama. She will pursue a Master of Arts at her alma mater next fall.
For now, Brand will focus on volunteerism as her social impact initiative.
“It operates under the slogan, ‘If you see the need, take the lead.’ So, as I see the need rise in my community, I take the lead to address that need through civic engagement and community service. I want to encourage others to do the same by establishing a volunteer network,” Brand said. “Over the last year with COVID, I was so fortunate to partner with the East Mississippi Hub for volunteers and nonprofits. They are apart of the volunteer association. Part of my marketing plan during my time as Miss Mississippi is just to get more Mississippians volunteering.”
Brand is also preparing for the 100th anniversary of the Miss America in December.
“I very excited to be the Miss Mississippi at the 100th Miss America competition.” Brand said, “I will also be traveling to the Miss America’s outstanding teen to support our Mississippi Teen, Tori Johnston. But I’m excited throughout the year to implement my marketing plan.”
Brand says she is happy to represent the Queen City on a statewide level.
Miss University, who is also a Meridian native, Lexie Harper placed in Saturday’s competition as a top ten semifinalist.
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