Miss America state shoes unveiled for NJ parade

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - September 10, 2013

Hours before preliminary competition was to begin Tuesday night, pageant organizers displayed the shoes as they basked in the competition's return to the place where it began in 1921.

"It's a monumental thing we've done, bringing back Miss America to Atlantic City," said Sam Haskell, CEO of the Miss America Organization. "We had to go to the desert for a couple years, but we're back!"

The pageant has returned to Atlantic City after a six-year stint in Las Vegas.

One of the pageant's most beloved traditions is the shoe parade, held on the Boardwalk the night before the finale. On Tuesday, the state-themed shoes of all 53 contestants were unveiled.

Miss Florida's shoes depicted alligators, Miss Indiana's had basketballs and hoops, Miss New Jersey had sea shells and Miss Arizona's had a cactus.

Miss Louisiana's shoes had a Mardi Gras theme, with multi-colored feathers and sequins. Several state contestants decorated boots as their footwear, including Miss Kentucky, and Miss South Dakota opted for metal-studded black leather boots that resemble those worn by Kiss bass player Gene Simmons.

The 53 hopefuls - one from each state as well as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District Of Columbia - compete in Boardwalk Hall. They'll receive scores in categories including talent, swimwear and evening wear, and onstage interviews.

The new Miss America will be crowned during Sunday night's nationally televised broadcast, seen locally on 6abc.

It begins Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. with an hour-long special, "Countdown to the Crown." After that, abc's 20/20 presents "Pageant Confidential."

Then at 9:00, you can see the pageant live in its entirety on 6abc.

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