Twenty-seven Miss Missouri candidates, their pageant directors and families will travel to the heart of Missouri June 9 to kick off a week filled with rehearsals, talent performances, interviews and evening gowns at Missouri Military Academy

Twenty-seven Miss Missouri candidates, their pageant directors and families will travel to the heart of Missouri June 9 to kick off a week filled with rehearsals, talent performances, interviews and evening gowns at Missouri Military Academy. This year also marks an important milestone for the organization — the 50th anniversary of the event being held in Mexico.

The Miss Missouri class of 2019 includes Miss Hannibal Jessica Kearns of Hannibal. She is the daughter of Eric and Kristi Kearns. Her platform, “Raising Money for Homeless Vets, 2x4s For Hope,” focuses on an organization that builds small homes for homeless veterans in the area. She will perform a vocal for the talent portion of the competition. Kearns is currently a student at John Wood Community College.

Kearns' title covers Hannibal and the surrounding areas. Since her crowning earlier this year, she has participated in a variety of service projects and appearances throughout the Hannibal and Quincy region.

Pageant week will begin with the Miss Missouri Golf Tournament on Sunday, which pairs area golfers with Miss candidates as they raise money for scholarships. Throughout the week, Miss Missouri candidates will also attend various luncheons, events and get togethers outside of the competition to celebrate the pageant's golden anniversary in Mexico.

The preliminary competition begins Tuesday, June 11 and will continue through Friday, June 14. The organization will crown the new Miss Missouri on Saturday night. After being crowned, the new Miss Missouri will immediately begin preparations to compete on the national stage at Miss America.

The Miss Missouri Scholarship Pageant is one of the largest providers of scholarships to young women in the state. This year, the organization will award $85,000 in scholarships between the Miss and Outstanding Teen programs.

Tickets for the Miss Missouri and Miss Missouri’s Outstanding Teen Pageants as well as tickets for the week’s special events are available through the Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce, located at 100 West Jackson Street or by calling 573-581-2765.