By Mike DeNardo
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., (CBS) — For the first time since 2004, the Miss America pageant is being held in the place where it began – Atlantic City, New Jersey. And fans are welcoming the familiar traditions back.
The pageant left Atlantic City for Las Vegas in 2005, but sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas. It’s is back in Atlantic City now, and fan Lauren Cabaniss of South Carolina says this is where Miss America belongs.
“It’s really exciting knowing that this is the birthplace of Miss America. And so all of the nostalgia attached to that is really exciting — to be able to see the boardwalk that everyone’s talked about for so many years. And they brought the parade back because it’s now here,” said Cabaniss.
Tiffany Linder of Spartanburg, South Carolina was at the Boardwalk parade, and she visited the statue of longtime host Bert Parks.
“Those are things you can’t do in Vegas. And that’s a lot of fun. Miss America is an iconic tradition of what is good about America. And I think that brings it back to Atlantic City – what is good about America and the tradition of what Miss America is,” said Linder.
Roseline Volney of West Chester tried to follow the Miss America pageant during its run in Vegas, but it wasn’t the same.
“When I heard they were coming back, I was ecstatic,” said Volney.
And she welcomed the return of tradition to Atlantic City.
“It just brings so much positive emotions. You just feel like no matter what’s going on in the world, this is a great thing,” she said.
The pageant started here in 1921, and Roseline says Miss America has too much history in Atlantic City not to be here.
“This is their home, anyway. They need to be here. This is their home. It’s like a personal relationship,” she said.
And even visitors acknowledge that after Hurricane Sandy last year and the Seaside Park fire last week, the pageant brings some welcome attention back to the Jersey shore.
“So many bad things have happened in the recent past. And so something that’s this interesting and something that’s very historical to come back is a very cool thing,” said Cabaniss.