Hundreds of young women from throughout New York State will take to the campus this weekend, competing for the right to represent the Empire State in the 2012 Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants later this year.
The pageants will take place Saturday and Sunday afternoon at the Purchase Performing Arts Center. The event will be held in Westchester County this year for the first time in more than 30 years.
In addition to offering a new event for interested locals, officials say there are economic benefits for the region as well. The hundreds of families expected to travel to the Purchase area this weekend could pump as much as $3 million into the local economy, estimated Keith Lewis, executive director of K2 Productions, which organizes the event. The expected bump for local businesses is welcomed news for area politicians, who worked to bring the pageant back to Westchester this year.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Westchester County to hundreds of visiting contestants and their families as they stay in our premier hotels, dine at our top-rated restaurants and visit our many cultural and historic attractions during what is typically a slow period in the industry,” Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino said in a statement.
Assemblyman Robert Castelli, whose 89th district encompasses SUNY Purchase, said he is excited about the possible financial boost as well.
“I am pleased to see the pageant grow here in Westchester,” Castelli said in a statement. “I believe they will bring much needed revenue and attention to our county and give the young women of Westchester a chance to shine.”
Preliminary competitions will begin Saturday at 2 p.m. with the Miss Teen New York USA Pageant, followed by the Miss New York USA Pageant at 7 p.m. The first day will include a swimwear and evening gown competition, followed by an interview.
Sunday's competition will consist of the top 15 teens at 2 p.m. and the top 20 misses at 7:30 p.m. Winners will represent New York State at the Miss Teen USA and Miss USA pageants.
Ticket and additional information can be found on the official pageant website www.missnewyorkusa.com or by calling the Purchase College Performing Arts Center Box Office at (914) 251-6200. Tickets start at $45 and up depending on seat location and day/round of the competition.