ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Miss America is abandoning Atlantic City for the second time, trading one casino town for another.
The Miss America Organization says this year’s pageant will be held at the Mohegan Sun Connecticut in Uncasville, Connecticut.
It will be broadcast Dec. 19 on NBC in a switch from recent broadcaster ABC.
“The Miss America Organization is proud to partner with Mohegan Sun as we return to our longtime NBC home,” said Regina Hopper, president and CEO of the Miss America Organization. “We are looking forward to a fresh take on this historic competition that will showcase the incredible women vying for the job of Miss America 2020.”
The pageant began in Atlantic City in 1921 as a way to extend the summer tourism season beyond Labor Day weekend.
It became synonymous with the New Jersey seaside resort but moved to Las Vegas in 2005, then returned to Atlantic City in 2013.
The pageant went through some big changes last year, the most attention-getting being the elimination of the swimsuit competition in favor of more in-depth contestant interviews.
The competition had been held at the historic Boardwalk Hall, and a boardwalk parade in which contestants wore shoes representing themes identified with their individual states had become part of the pageant’s history.
For decades, the pageant was a part of Americana, and longtime master of ceremonies Bert Parks’ rendition of the “There she is … Miss America,” theme song became synonymous with the pageant.
Its latest departure from Atlantic City had been expected since the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority declined to renew subsidies for the pageant following last September’s competition.
Over the past six years, the agency spent more than $20 million on subsidies for the pageant.