Booneville’s own Miss USA is set for a hometown celebration as she prepares to step onto the world stage in next month’s Miss Universe competition.

Booneville native and Booneville High School graduate Asya Branch will be honored next Friday, April 23 with a welcome home event in downtown Booneville.

The Miss Mississippi USA title-holder won the national Miss USA crown last fall, becoming Booneville and Mississippi’s first-ever Miss USA. She also holds the distinction of being the first-ever African American winner of the Miss Mississippi USA crown in the event’s history.

Market 105 owner and event co-organizer Lisa Stevens said Branch will begin her official visit to her hometown at the First Baptist Church parking lot at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 23 where she will ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the streets of downtown Booneville. She will then arrive at a large tent set up beside Market 105 near the Overhead Bridge at the intersection of College and Market Streets for a public meet and greet event where fans and supporters will have the opportunity to visit with her.

Following the public event Branch will be celebrated with a ticketed, limited capacity dinner hosted by Market 105 featuring live music and an elegant dinner in a formal atmosphere.

Stevens said information about how tickets will be made available will be announced very soon but noted the number of tickets will be limited simply due to the space available in the restaurant.

Stevens said she’s extremely excited about the homecoming celebration.

“It’s going to be great for the city of Booneville,” she said.

She said Booneville is blessed to have a person of such kindness and integrity representing the city and the entire state on the national and international stage.

The local event is being billed as the kickoff on her road to the Miss Universe competition which is set for May 16 in Hollywood, Fla.

Banner Independent Editor

Managing editor of the Daily Corinthian’s sister newspaper, Booneville’s Banner-Independent, Brant Sappington has been a member of the Daily Corinthian family since 2001.

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