Every year more than 12,000 contestants nationwide compete in local and state preliminary competitions in hopes of making it to the Miss America pageant. This year, the national finals will be held in September in the competition’s birthplace of Atlantic City, N.J. after taking place the in Las Vegas for the last eight years. All pageants in the Miss America system crown a winners through a two-part process, a personal judges’ interview and an onstage segment that includes the onstage question, talent, evening gown, and swimsuit competitions.
The Miss Sacramento pageant, held at New San Juan High School in Citrus Heights this winter, crowned 24-year old Ashley Newman. Newman will now compete for the title of Miss California. A self-taught ventriloquist, Newman lost 35 pounds and was a finalist for two years in a row before she won the contest this February.