Jersey Shore Journal

Jersey Shore Journal - Life and Times at the Jersey Shore

Sunday, January 24, 2010

“Here She Comes, Miss America”

Jennifer and Erica Dunlap Miss America 2004
Miss America 2009 Katie Stam

This Saturday night, January 30 is the Miss America Pageant with host Mario Lopez. You can view it on The Learning Channel at 8 pm EST. Most of you will remember that the Miss America Pageant used to be in September in Atlantic City, NJ. But in 2004, Miss America lost its sponsor on ABC and had to go to cable. First it went to Country Music Channel and now it is on TLC.

The runway in Atlantic City Convention Hall

When I graduated from Richard Stockton College in 2004 I got a job working for the Miss America Organization in the Public Relations Dept. We didn’t know at the time, but that would be the last year they would have the pageant in NJ. That was the year they also celebrated the 50th year being televised. It was the same year Lee Meriwether was crowned Miss America.

Jennifer and her husband at the Miss America Pageant 2004

Aaron and Amanda

The pageant was a 2 week experience; from when they came to the interviews to the preliminary competition nights. There was a spectacular fundraiser party to meet all the former Miss Americas, then the Miss America Breakfast hearing from all the former Miss Americas and then there was the exciting parade on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. See pics below.

To make matters more interesting, there was a strike by casino employees that week and the night of the parade a major hurricane was on its way north. I remember the phone rang off the hook with everyone wondering if we were going to hold the parade. Amazingly we did not get any rain and the wind was not too bad.

The Atlantic City Miss America Parade 2004 former Miss America Heather French

Former Miss America Heather Whitestone

Former Miss Americas @ Fundraiser

Former Miss America Lee Meriwether - center

Gerry with Miss America Erica Dunlap 2004

Me at work holding a crown

It was very exciting seeing the behind the scenes of the preparations- the press passes, the pageant book, Miss America’s travels, press releases and so much more. I worked on all of the contestant’s profiles, scanning photos and updating them online. I also checked every day to see if Miss America was mentioned in the media across the country. During the pageant it was my job to organize all of the photos taken and upload them to the website. I had to be able to recognize each contestant by site and put her photos in her State folder online.

Jennifer with Portraits of Miss America @ the Sheraton in Atlantic City, NJ 2004

The Miss America offices are still in New Jersey, but all the action will be in Las Vegas@ Planet Hollywood this week. Be sure to check every day for updates@ on the preliminary winners in fitness, talent and evening gown. Radio Talk Show host Rush Limbaugh will be one of the judges this year.

Watch Sat. January 30 @ 8 pm EST on TLC

I have fond memories of Miss America and miss its presence at the Jersey Shore. Spread the word and be sure to watch or DVR on Sat!

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