Miss America 2014: Miss America & Atlantic City Tourism

Obligatory Photo with Nina's Photo!
Obligatory Photo with Nina’s Photo!

Carrie and I drove straight to the Boardwalk on Saturday, and paid the outrageous $20 parking fee. Thankfully, when we finally got to the hotel, checked in, and decided it was not dirty and we could sleep there, I discovered a shuttle that runs to anywhere in Atlantic City for only $5. I’m not sure, but I think they charged my room and we paid them cash, so I should probably check my bank statement. Sunday morning, bright and early, we called the shuttle. The van parked in front of the hotel, but our driver was inside. Carrie noted that the van had been sideswiped. Fair enough, it happens. But we soon discovered why.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , Harry takes a journey on the Knight Bus. Our driver and Stan Shunpike are actually cousins. At one point in our journey, after our driver cursed at triathalon bikers, 5k runners, and traffic cops, whipped around corners and zipped down one way streets, I turned to Carrie and whispered, “This reminds me of the Knight bus.” To which she replied, “I was thinking the same thing!” It was such a wild ride that when she dropped us off at Caesar’s Palace, she jumped out of the car to open our door before she put the van in Park. The van started to roll away and the valet parkers stood their laughing. when our feet were safety on the ground a valet parker joked, “Better late than dead.”

First we went to the Miss America Forevers Signing, where we met so many elegant, beautiful, classy former Miss America winners. It was truly an experience of a lifetime. We got there an hour early, but there was already a line formed. We spoke with the people around us. The line experience was half the fun!

Then we met Ed. Oh my goodness. He was an Atlantic City Ambassador. He had the lime green jacket on. Clearly he was supposed to be able to guide people. So we asked him where the Miss America sand castle was. He had no idea there was a Miss America sand castle! But he was eager to help, and called the visitor center to find out. Literally, we were standing right in front of it, but it was behind a hill. He walked with us around the hill, took our picture, and made good conversation. He was really a great guy, and we ran into him again later when we met with some pageant sisters from NY for lunch. Of course he didn’t know where the restaurant we were looking for was either. But he was eager to help!

The Miss America Sand Castle
The Miss America Sand Castle
Carrie and I, at the Sand Castle
Carrie and I, at the Sand Castle

In the Tanger Outlets in Atlantic City they had something similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but of Miss America past titleholders! All along the sidewalks there were tiles with titleholders and miniature biographies. I found a few of my favorites, and of some past Miss New Yorks. There have only been four before Mallory and Nina.

Lee Meriwether
Lee Meriwether’s block

There is an unofficial museum in the Sheraton Hotel. Out in the atrium there is this neat statue. It is a founder of the Miss America pageant, and sings while you stand under it. They just released a similar statue modeled after Mallory, but we didn’t go to that one as well. Unfortunately, Carrie was to short to trigger the song, and I was too tall to stand up straight. I actually bashed my head off his hand at one point and had a horrible headache for the duration of the afternoon.

There She Is... Miss America...
There She Is… Miss America…

The first seven Miss Americas were given a status of a golden mermaid. Although these originals are lost, there is a pretty awesome replica in the unofficial museum. During commercial breaks at the pageant we had trivia questions. The first to tweet the correct answer won a prize. This was the answer to a question, and I knew it, but was not the first to tweet.

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Peggy Havens, the model for the Golden Mermaid

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In addition to some awesome Miss America history, we were able to view the dresses of Miss Americas of the past, as well as shoes worn in the famous traditional Show Us Your Shoes Parade.

The Dresses:

Caption:

Caption: Susan Akin's coronation gown is a stunning example of the jeweled, tight fitting gowns of the 1980's which were particularly flattering to the contestants's physically fit bodies. The look of royalty and its influence on Miss America's style is reflected in the beautiful and unusual trim. When Ms. Akin first put on this stunning creation and looked in the mirror, she exclaimed, "I can win in this gown!"
Caption: Susan Akin’s coronation gown is a stunning example of the jeweled, tight fitting gowns of the 1980’s which were particularly flattering to the contestants’s physically fit bodies. The look of royalty and its influence on Miss America’s style is reflected in the beautiful and unusual trim. When Ms. Akin first put on this stunning creation and looked in the mirror, she exclaimed, “I can win in this gown!”
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Marian Bergeron was crowned in her high school gown adorned with an elaborate robe of red velvet, studded with stones and beading. One of the most talented of early Miss Americas, Ms. Bergeron began singing the blues when she was twelve years old. She later sang with Frankie Carle, Guy Lombardo and Rudy Vallee.
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Jean Bartel’s long sleeved and form filling gown, featuring a draped overskirt and mandarin collar, was characteristic of the war era fashion. Ms. Bartel was the Miss America most responsible for the introduction of the scholarship program and the Miss America’s wholesome, modern image.
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Lee Meriwether’s stunning competition gown was representative of the 1950’s debutante styles. The gown’s white lace apron over tulle gave the appearance of a fairy princess floating down the aisle. Ms. Meriwether went on to be a famous and successful actress.
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Jane Jayroe competed in a chiffon evening gown representative of the flowing gowns and jeweled bodies popular in the late 60s and 70s. This beautiful evening dress was worn with elbow length white gloves and pointed toe high heels. Ms. Jayroe became a prominent newscaster in Dallas, Texas.
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Phyllis George’s competition gown, with its jeweled bodice, is a nod to the 1970s. The unique peach underskirt, layered with flowing orange chiffon, created and elegant, luminous two-tone glow as she gracefully moved down the runway. Ms. George became television’s first woman sportscaster.

The Shoes:

New York
New York
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Florida
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Maryland

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New Jersey

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The town was so welcoming and supportive. Literally, there was “Miss America” everywhere, on permanent infrastructure!

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