25 April 2009

Puerto Rico to compete in America pageant

Miss Puerto Rico will compete in the Miss America Pageant in January for the first time since 1961, organizers said.

The 2010 Miss America Pageant will showcase 53 women live on TLC from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The pageant's date has yet to be announced.

"We are truly excited to welcome Puerto Rico back to the Miss America Organization and are thrilled to have Miss Puerto Rico competing this year," Art McMaster, president and chief executive officer of the Miss America Organization, said in a statement. "The Miss Puerto Rico Organization has a tremendous amount of pageant expertise and business savvy, and will surely thrive as part of the Miss America program."

Similar to the states, District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Miss Puerto Rico Scholarship Program will provide scholarship awards to program participants and will hold an annual competition, the winner of which will proceed to the national competition as Miss Puerto Rico.

The Miss Puerto Rico competition will be held in Caguas, Puerto Rico, with the winner being crowned July 18 by Miss America 2009 Katie Stam.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Puerto Rico back into the Miss America Pageant after almost 50 years of absence, added Joselo Sostre, executive director of the Miss Puerto Rico Scholarship Program. " With our current economic crisis, this is a great scholarship opportunity that will provide hope and empowerment to young women who are pursuing their dreams."