Miss America pageant returns home to Atlantic City
The famed Miss America pageant is set to move back to its original home of New Jersey for the upcoming competition.
The pageant, which was an Atlantic City staple before moving to Las Vegas in 2006, is returning to its home state of New Jersey, according to the organization's chairman, Sam Haskell.
"Hey tweeters....@MissAmericaOrg and the Miss America Pageant are returning to Atlantic City in September & New 3 year deal with ABC!" he Tweeted on February 14. "We are so very proud to bring Miss America back to her birthplace in Atlantic City," the Miss America Twitter account quoted him as saying.
The reason for the location change was not revealed.
The acting governor of Atlantic City, Kim Guadagno, also expressed his excitement that the esteemed pageant will be coming back to the Atlantic City Boardwalk in a statement on his website.
"New Jersey is proud to once again host the Miss America Pageant here in Atlantic City," Guadagno says in the statement. "We are confident that Atlantic City's famous boardwalk and variety of restaurants, shops and entertainment venues will showcase the city's vibrancy and attraction to the participants and many visitors that will attend the Miss America Pageant every year."
Mallory Hytes Hagan, former Miss New York who was crowned Miss America on January 13, 2013, Tweeted her excitement about the news.
"Glad you all got the news! Happy that @MissAmericaOrg is going back home!! How cool, huh? :)" she Tweeted on February 14.
Hagan, who beat out 53 other contestants for the crown, a $50,000 scholarship and what was supposed to be a yearlong run as Miss America, will have her reign cut short with the new pageant occuring in September. According to the Associated Press, pageant officials have announced that she will still be paid for the full year.
Hagan, 23, is a native of Brooklyn, New York. Her talent was a tap dance routine to James Brown's "Get Up Off of That Thing." During the question portion of the competition, Hagan answered a question about whether armed guards belong in grade schools.
She replied that we should not fight violence with violence. Miss South Carolina, Ali Rogers, was named the runner-up. Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton, finished third.
Hagan spoke to the Live Well Network prior to the competition for the special series "Miss America: Secret's Revealed." During the interview, she talked about how many clothes she had to pack for the show and a lucky charm she wears.
"This is my state of New York necklace and the diamond has been placed in Brooklyn," she said. "Many of the Miss New York contestants gave it to me as my send off gift."
She also revealed her secret for bringing the crown home.
"My secret, I don't think it's so much of a secret. It's just to kind of be myself, be real and relatable and hope that I can relate to all six of the judges that are going to be there," she said during the interview, which can be viewed below. "Also to just have a lot of fun. If I can kind of do all those things kind of combined I think that I have a good shot."
The contest is not to be confused with Donald Trump's annual Miss USA pageant, which also selects a winner from among state beauty queens. The Miss America pageant features an additional talent portion, during which contestants are judged on acts they perform, such as singing, dancing and juggling routines.
(Pictured above: Mallory Hagan talks to OTRC.com before the 2013 Miss America pageant, which she won on January 13.)
See a photo of Miss America, Mallory Hagan, being crowned at the 2013 ceremony below. Also, check out her interview with OTRC.