One of the most popular long-time traditions, the Choctaw Indian Princess Pageant will officially open the 65th annual Fair tonight beginning at 7 p.m. at the amphitheater stage.

Twelve young Choctaw women or "Chahta Ohoyo" to vie for the honor of becoming the 60th Choctaw Indian Princess. The pageant will follow Chief Phyliss J. Anderson's remarks at opening ceremonies at 6 p.m.

The 12 contestants are:

• Brittany Shanease Bell is the 18-year-old daughter of Jennifer Bell from the Pearl River community. She is a recent graduate of Choctaw Central High School and plans to attend Meridian Community College this fall. She is sponsored by the Choctaw Health Center Employees Association.

• Shonika Lurand Billy is the 17-year-old daughter of Ronald Billy and Shondria Chickaway of the Conehatta community. This fall, she will be a freshman at Meridian Community College where she plans to major in early childhood education. She is sponsored by the Conehatta Development Club.

• Kara Alaine Edwards is the 16-year-old daughter of Kevin and Sheena Edwards of the Standing Pine community. A student at Leake Academy, she is a rising junior. She hopes to one day attend the University of Mississippi. She is sponsored by the Standing Pine Development Club.

• Trinesa Elaine Isom is the 17-year-old daughter of Gerald and Denise Isom of the Conehatta community. She will be a senior this fall at Choctaw Central High School and has plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi after graduation. She is sponsored by Choctaw Tribal Schools.

• Arishanda Larain Jefferson is the 16-year-old daughter of Chrisanda Jefferson from the Tucker community. This fall she will be a junior at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus. Her future plans are to attend Vanderbilt University. She is sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

• Cristen Chanté Jim is the 18-year-old daughter of Lisa Charlie of the Tucker community. A recent graduate of Choctaw Central High School, she plans to attend Haskell Indian Nations University this fall. She is sponsored by the Tucker Development Club.

• Langley Bea'Nea Jim is the 16-year-old daughter of Barbarella Jim and Landon Jim of the Pearl River community. She will be a senior this fall at Choctaw Central High School and plans to one day attend the University of Southern Mississippi. She is sponsored by the Pearl River Development Club.

• MeShay LeAnn Jimmie is the 17-year-old daughter of Johnny and Valerie Vaughn of the Bogue Chitto community. This fall she will be a senior at Neshoba Central High School and plans to one day attend California State University. She is sponsored by the Bogue Chitto Development Club.

• Lattoriah Fichik Johnson is the 16-year-old daughter of Lamo and Modina Johnson of the Pearl River community. Originally from Conehatta, Lattoriah will enter the eleventh grade at Choctaw Central High School. After high school Lattoriah plans to attend the University of Alabama. She is sponsored by Pearl River Resort.

• Emily LeAnn Shoemake is the 18-year-old daughter of Gregory and Tracey Shoemake of the Conehatta community. She is a recent honor graduate of Choctaw Central High School and plans to attend East Central Community College this fall. Emily is sponsored by Trustmark National Bank.

• Kelsey Cheyenne Vaughn is the 17-year-old daughter of Brenda and Ronnie Vaughn of the Bogue Homa community. She will be a junior at Northeast Jones High School in Jones County and plans to one day attend the University of Mississippi. She is sponsored by the Bok Homa Casino.

• Jalique LaSage Williams, of the Pearl River community, is the 16-year-old daughter of Kirk Williams and Oretta Conrad. This fall she will be a senior at Choctaw Central High School and has plans to attend the University of Tennessee. She is sponsored by the Youth Opportunity Program.

One of these 12 ladies will be crowned by 2013-2014 Choctaw Indian Princess Lanena Grace John. Throughout her year-long reign, the new Princess will serve as a goodwill ambassador of the Tribe.

To learn more about the 65th annual Choctaw Indian Fair, visit www.choctawindianfair.com, like us on Facebook at Choctaw Indian Fair or call the fair hotline at 601-650-7450.