Neshoba County's Miss Hospitality Mollie McKay will compete this week for the state title during the 64th annual pageant in the historic Saenger Theater in Hattiesburg.

This year, 39 of Mississippi's best and brightest young ladies will take the stage in competition for the title of 2013 Mississippi Miss Hospitality - a title that comes with a ticket to travel across the State of Mississippi promoting Mississippi's economic development and tourism industries.

The pageant will be Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 8 p.m.

McKay, daughter of Don and Sharon McKay of Philadelphia, is a junior at the University of Mississippi.

At Ole Miss, she is a member of the Honors College and Phi Mu sorority where she is on the executive council.

She is also a member of the Student Activities Association at Ole Miss.

Mollie and her family attend First Baptist Church of Philadelphia.

This year marks the 16th year that Hattiesburg has hosted the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant. The tradition began in 1949 under Governor Fielding Wright and the Mississippi Legislature.

Since then, the Pageant has called the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Starkville and now Hattiesburg its home. Presented by VISITHATTIESBURG, the City of Hattiesburg and The University of Southern Mississippi, the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant offers more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes to young women from across the state.

During the pageant week, contestants will enjoy social events, rehearsals and competitions that lead to the crowning of Mississippi's 2013 Miss Hospitality. The theme for this year's Pageant is "Under the Big Top" and is sure to entertain the audience with an unforgettable circus experience.

Tickets for the 2013 pageant are now on sale and can be purchased at the Saenger Theater Box Office by calling 601.584.4888 or online at Tickets are $22.50 for premiere reserved seating and $17.50 for general reserved seating. Two-night ticket packages are also available.

The Mississippi Miss Hospitality is a program of VISITHATTIESBURG, and is presented by VISITHATTIESBURG, The University of Southern Mississippi and the City of Hattiesburg.

For more information about the Pageant, contact the State Pageant Office at 601-268-3220 or Additional Pageant information can be found online at