A happy homecoming for Miss America hopefuls on return to Atlantic City boardwalk

    Did you hear that sound yesterday? It was the noise made by 53 pairs of high heels hitting the Atlantic City Boardwalk, as the contestants for Miss America 2014 made a triumphant — and fabulous — return to the competition’s home city.

    NewsWorks’ Bas Slabbers was there as the women vying to be the 87th Miss A descended on Atlantic City, in preparation for preliminary competitions and the crowning on Sept. 15. The women met with media, strutted on a catwalk, and posed for pictures with officials and a newly-unveiled Miss America statue.

    [Obviously I’m biased, but Miss New Jersey, Cara McCollum, looks especially fine. Go, Jersey girl.] 

    One of them will take over for Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan, who through a scheduling quirk, will have only actually worn the four-pointed crown for eight months. Miss America 2013 was held in January in Las Vegas, where Miss America spent, as the Inquirer’s Amy Rosenberg described it, “her seven-year sojourn in the Las Vegas desert.” 

    But the prodigal princess, and the tourism dollars she brings with her, are back home to stay, organizers say. Tuesday night, Hagan shared an Instagram picture of the new statue. Meta! 

    These days, Miss A is touted as “a representation of the American spirit of excellence and accomplishment,” more than “the queen of femininity,” as the old “There She Is” song went. In a first this year for Miss America, one will receive a STEM Award — $5,000 to further a career goal involving science, technology and mathematics fields. 

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