By John McDevitt
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., (CBS) — As 53 contestants of the Miss America Pageant prepare for their big night tomorrow in Atlantic City, a night of fun is planned along a two mile stretch of the boardwalk this evening.
Marching bands, singers, dancers and pageant contestants and reigning Miss America Mallory Hagan are in the parade known as the “Show Us Your Shoes” parade. She say it great to have the pageant back in Atlantic City this year.
“I’m so glad it worked out this year and that you know the community is just really excited about having us and that’s really important because Las Vegas, we were a little lost. So it’s really exciting to have an entire community behind us,” Hagan said.
The contestants specially-designed shoes are supposed to reflect the ladies’ home states in some way. Miss Florida, green alligators, Miss New York, a night city skyline with taxi, apple and Lady Liberty embellishments.
Miss New Jersey, Cara McCollum, sports a sea shore motif.
“The fans are just phenomenal. I’m so proud to be a New Jerseyian, they make me feel like a rock star,” McCollum said.
Hagan says the parade gets everyone involved in the fun, including the spectators, some 200,000 strong.
“It’s meant to give the girls an opportunity to showcase their personality, and it gives the community that’s not able to come to the pageant an opportunity to see all of the contestants so its just a lot of fun,” she said.
There are more than 4,000 parade participants including the Miss America contestants, marching bands, dancers, choirs and military personnel.