Miss Louisiana contestants arrive in Monroe

MONROE – Thirty-six women from across the state have arrived in Monroe to compete for the title of Miss Louisiana.

The News-Star reports the contestants moved into their rooms Sunday at the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s Bayou Suites, which will be their home until one is crowned Miss Louisiana 2013 on Saturday at the Monroe Civic Center’s W.L. “Jack” Howard Theatre.

This year also holds special significance for the Miss Louisiana Pageant, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary of being held in Monroe.

“This year promises to be bigger and better than ever as we celebrate 50 years in Monroe,” said Darris Waren, vice president of the Miss Louisiana Organization. “People from all over the state will converge on Monroe this week for the annual event. Cities all over the state would love to host the Miss Louisiana Pageant, but we are proud to call Monroe home for the past 50 years. We are blessed to have the support of the local community and all of our sponsors.”

A new addition to pageant-week festivities this year will be the Miss Louisiana Variety Show, which will feature former Miss Louisianas performing their talent. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Monroe Civic Center’s W.L. “Jack” Howard Theatre.

“This is the first time we have hosted a Former Miss Louisiana Variety Show, but we are very excited to see many of our formers performing again,” Waren said.

For the 36 Miss Louisiana 2013 contestants, the week will be a whirlwind of activities, practices and appearances until finally culminating in the live televised finals Saturday night.

Preliminary competition will occur at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

The Miss Louisiana Organization, which is part of the Miss America Organization, has a volunteer-based board of directors that works to share the accomplishments of the 36 contestants and provide scholarships to further their education. In 2012-13, the Miss Louisiana Organization made available more than $1 million in cash and tuition scholarships. Miss America offers more than $45 million in scholarships, making it the primary provider of scholarships to young women in the world.

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