Miss Georgia is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a new format, and you don’t have to go to Columbus to witness it.
This is the first year that Miss Georgia and other state pageants will no longer have swimsuit competitions. Instead, there will be an increased focus on contestant’s chosen social impact initiatives — issues including sexual assault prevention, mental health and promoting volunteerism.
In addition to the better-known Miss Georgia competition, the Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen competition is held at the same time. Teens compete in similar categories of competition as the Miss contestants, but they also have a physical fitness component that typically involves exercises like jumping jacks, planks and squats.
The competition begins with preliminaries on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. Each night of preliminary competition begins at 7 p.m. Finals for both teen and miss contestants are on Saturday, June 15 and begin at 7 p.m.
How to watch
Miss Georgia is held at the River Center in Columbus, and tickets are available at MissGeorgia.net. If you want to watch from home, the competition is streamed in full by WRBL, a Columbus-based news station. The stream is free and covers all three preliminary nights and the final competition on Saturday. You can find WRBL’s stream at www.wrbl.com/watch-live.
The new format
Miss America announced in June 2018 that there would no longer be a swimsuit competition on the national level starting immediately, and state pageants would eliminate it beginning in 2019. Miss contestants will now compete in talent, on-stage question, evening wear featuring a social impact initiative statement and private interview. Teen competition is unchanged, with categories including talent, on-stage question in evening gown, fitness and private interview.
Why do some contestants not live in the city or region they represent?
Miss Georgia and Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen have dozens of local pageants that send contestants to the state competition. Some are “open pageants” and others are “closed pageants.”
Open pageants allow any Georgia resident within the proper age range to compete; that’s why Miss Fitzgerald is from Alpharetta and Miss Gwinnett County is from Macon. Titleholders who represent locations where they do not live still attend events and perform community service in the location they represent.
Closed pageants restrict their contestant pool to a certain city, county or region. Miss Warner Robins, for example, is a closed pageant that permits contestants to compete if they live in one of 14 Middle Georgia counties.
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