Miss America competition airs Thursday with Chattanooga-connected Miss Tennessee

Brianna Mason / Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter

When Miss Tennessee Brianna Mason takes the Miss America stage Thursday night, she'll have plenty of Chattanooga supporters cheering her on.

Mason, 24, is from Nashville, but her grandparents, Roderick and Eva Jeanette Morton, live in Chattanooga, along with other relatives from the Ghidden and Morton families. Her mother, Tiffany Morton Mason, is a 1989 graduate of Tyner High School who works for the Tennessee legislature in Nashville. Dad Reggie Mason is assistant principal at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee.

The competition will air on NBC at 8 p.m. Thursday, live from the Mohegan Sun resort in Connecticut. For the first time, a livestream of the preliminary competitions is being made available. For a fee, viewers may register to watch Sunday and Monday nights as the 51 contestants showcase their talents, answer onstage questions and make their social-impact pitches.