Miss America Pageant returning to Atlantic City after Labor Day

 Miss America contestants walk the runway at the beginning of the 2004 competition in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mary Godleski)

Miss America contestants walk the runway at the beginning of the 2004 competition in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mary Godleski)

An Atlantic City tradition is returning home.  The gambling mecca has a lot riding on the Miss America Pageant.

Bert Parks won’t be there to sing “there she is, Miss America” but 53 young hopefuls will be for nearly a week starting September 10th. After an eight year absence, the Miss America Pageant will come back to Convention Hall in Atlantic City.

Sam Haskell of the Miss America Organization says the pageant started in 1921 as a publicity stunt to keep tourists in the resort town past Labor Day.

“What we have become is a scholarship organization that provides up to $45 million a year to educate the young women of our country, and that is what we have to focus on because coming back to Atlantic City is going to enhance that aspect of the competition,” said Haskell.

Elizabeth Cartmell, president and CEO of the Atlantic City Alliance says she hopes the pageant will once again show off Atlantic City and bring more tourists for the off season.

“There’s something here for everyone to do and that we have a great variety of offerings and of course the Miss America Pageant is a wonderful wonderful element to bring back to that array of offerings.”

Also returning will be the boardwalk parade, famous for onlookers shouting “show us your shoes.”  The parade along with the pageant itself will be under tight security.

 

 

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