ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The Miss America pageant is back in the city where it began, six years after spurning the city for Las Vegas.
The pageant held a welcoming ceremony in Atlantic City on Tuesday for the 53 contestants, one from each state plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The contestants filed out of Boardwalk Hall, where the competition will begin next week and culminate days later, and walked across the Boardwalk to a stage.
There, they participated in the traditional signing-in ceremony, in which each of them signed her state on a map of the United States and gave a few words of introduction. Most spoke of how happy they were that the pageant had come home again.
"I really couldn't be happier that Miss America is back here in Atlantic City!" said Miss Alabama, Chandler Champion.
"It's my very first time in Atlantic City," added Miss Alaska, Michelle Taylor. "Thank you so much for welcoming us back!"