AMORY, Miss. (WTVA) - The town of Amory will hold a celebration August 10th honoring the new Miss Mississippi, Chelsea Rick, and the city has officially named it Chelsea Rick Day.
Chelsea Rick said she never considered herself a pageant girl, and even after winning the crown of Miss Mississippi, those feelings remain the same.
"I saw the Miss Mississippi Pageant as an entirely separate entity," Rick said. "I always knew I wanted to be Miss Mississippi before I even wanted to be a doctor."
Rick just finished her first year in the Osteopathic Medicine program at William Carey University and must take off one year to compete in the Miss America pageant.
A native of Fulton, Rick became Miss Amory Railroad Festival before winning the highest pageant honor in the state.
"It's been a journey of perseverance for me," she said. "I think that's they key word that dictated what my journey has been like to become Miss Mississippi."
She now proceeds to the national stage, but not before she's honored and handed the key to the town of Amory.
The city is hosting Chelsea Rick Day to celebrate her achievements.
"Amory has always treated me like one of their own," Rick said.
In fact, she credits the town for being where she is today.
"The people in Amory helped me prepare, and I was ready when I went," she explained. "That's what I hope to do at Miss America."
Jayne Westbrook didn't meet Rick until the night of the Miss Mississippi Pageant, and she said she knew from the start that the state had found its representative.
"I was blown away," Westbrook said. "She was magnificent in her talent. She was magnificent in her swimsuit. Mississippi's got the whole package this year."
"I don't think there's anybody that could be any better than Chelsea," said Bo Miller, President of the Miss Mississippi Local Pageant Directors Association. "She is the epitome of what the Miss America Pageant stands for."
Rick's next stop is the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, and she has a few goals in mind.
"I just want to remain calm," she said jokingly. "I think that's the thing. If I just remain true to who I am and don't let anything stress me out, that's really the way I can perform best."
Rick leaves for Atlantic City on Sept. 3rd to participate in the Miss America Pageant, which will be held on Sept. 15th.