The long time Atlantic City-based pageant is leaving Las Vegas for a return to the Boardwalk
ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY — The classic Miss America theme song, "There She Is Miss America," with its lyrics — “The dream of a million girls who are more than pretty can come true in Atlantic City” — is relevant once again.
The Miss America Pageant is headed back to Atlantic City.
The Atlantic City region was shocked when the pageant packed up and headed west to Las Vegas in 2006. However, the pageant organization remained based locally, and after a seven-year run in Sin City, Gov. Chris Christie’s spokesman Michael Drewniak confirmed Wednesday that the pageant will return to the Boardwalk.
This was followed by a Thursday morning (Feb. 14, Valentine's Day) Boardwalk Hall press conference with New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who formally announced the return of the pageant, although all the details have not been worked out yet.
It will take place in September 2013, but the date has not been finalized. Guadagno, Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson and the CRDA worked together with the Miss America Organization to bring the pageant home.
Fans, get ready to say “Show me your shoes,” because it was announced that the Miss America Parade will also be back on the Boardwalk.
Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford says about the announcement, "Thankfully, the Miss America Pageant is back where it belongs."
The pageant began as a bathing suit competition designed to extend the tourist season by an extra week after Labor Day in the “Boardwalk Empire” era of 1921 when 16-year-old Margaret Gorman won the title. In was the following year when Gorman’s title officially became Miss America.
As the years passed the pageant became a national treasure and one of the top rated TV shows in its 1960s heyday when master of ceremonies, Bert Parks, would sing “There She Is Miss America” to the winner.
"I am looking forward to being here and participating in the pageant especially the Boardwalk Parade."
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"Miss America’s return to her home in Atlantic City, New Jersey will be a 13 day event following Labor Day weekend and will include three nights of Preliminary Competitions that will take place on Sept. 10, 11 and 12 at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall."
The Miss America Pageant is coming back home to Atlantic City in 2013, but it may not be the Miss America Pageant of old. In an exclusive interview with Atlantic City Weekly, the organization's CEO Art McMaster says a date for the pageant should be set within a week or so. Are there more changes in store for this year's pageant?
Every night, they walked the long runway — the statuesque queen in her dazzling duds, and the diminutive page in dutiful pursuit. The throngs beyond the footlights oohed and ogled. Television was not yet ready ....
In an era of reality TV and the cult of celebrity, we may find it difficult to fathom that a Miss America winner once fled from the spotlight at the very moment of her triumph. The pageant was more parochial back in 1937, when 17-year-old Bette Cooper emerged from a beauty contest in Lake Hopatcong, NJ as "Miss Bertrand Island" with a ticket to Atlantic City. She was an athletic, innocent, apple-cheeked blonde unprepared for the glare of publicity. They poured into town by rail, 51 aspiring Miss Americas with titles such as Miss Eastern Shore and Miss Buckeye Lake. The pageant assigned volunteer young men to chauffeur contestants in those days, and Bette Cooper drew 22-year-old Lou Off, whose father Frank owned the Brighton Hotel and a nursery business in Linwood. Off the Younger lived at the hotel and drove a maroon Buick Special convertible to work at his father's Brighton Farms. That Buick would soon turn from touring car to getaway car. Bette and her family settled into the Lafayette Hotel, and the high schooler stepped gingerly into the pageant's press luncheons and nightly competition. She was well versed in tennis, basketball, and churchgoing, but not in the brazen arts...
“Since coming to Las Vegas it seems to me the Pageant has lost its wholesomeness, which always set it apart from the other pageants.”
Since we won't have a parade to attend on Friday evening or a pageant to watch on Saturday night, we can't help but feel a little ... well, empty this week. No Miss America in Atlantic City after 85 years of history in the town that was always synonymous with the annual competition. Enjoy the trip down memory lane as we wax nostalgic over the pageants of yesteryear. 1921 First Miss America competition is held. A group of hoteliers and other businessmen invent a beauty pageant with the intention of attracting visitors in September and extending the summer season to pad their seasonal profits. The winner of the pageant was to be called "The Most Beautiful Bathing Girl in America." The pageant's first winner, Margaret Gorman of Washington, D.C., would soon be the first to be called "Miss America," but not until the end of her reign. 1925 The pageant is broadcast "live" on radio for the first time. 1928 Religious and women's advocacy groups gain ground in their annual protests of the Miss America pageant, which they content is an exploitation of the women involved. The pageant's organizers vote to cancel the pageant. No Miss America is crowned in 1928. 1929 A...
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