ATLANTIC CITY — The rain didn’t affect Miss Maine Audrey Thames, who wore a yellow rain coat and showed off her studded yellow rain boots Saturday during the Miss America Show Us Your Shoes parade.
Thames and the 52 other Miss America 2015 contestants rode down the Boardwalk in convertibles during the parade, showing off their creatively decorated footwear to spectators who called out “Show us your shoes” as they passed by.
Miss Louisiana Lacey Sanchez wore feathered magenta-and-green stilettos and carried a matching feather-decorated umbrella, a nod to Mardi Gras, which takes place in her home state, and Miss Texas Monique Evans, whose talent is ballet en pointe, wore rhinestone-covered ballet flats.
Miss Oregon Rebecca Anderson had tiny bicycles on her shoes and wore a bike helmet since Portland is known as a bike-friendly city, and Miss New Jersey Cierra Kaler-Jones wore strappy gladiator sandals that reached up her calves and had scarlet laces representing Rutgers University, her college.
Filling the spaces between the convertibles carrying contestants were various performers. A group posted up outside Boardwalk Hall said they had traveled from Ohio, not because they personally know Miss Ohio Mackenzie Bart, but because their daughter and granddaughter performed with the High Society’s Twirlers, a baton-twirling group.
Cheerleaders from Absegami High School, Miss New Jersey’s alma mater, performed despite the slippery Boardwalk, as did marching bands from Ocean City and Oakcrest high schools.
The rain may have deterred some people from coming out to the Boardwalk, but for die-hards such as Katie Mewhinnty-Epp, of Absecon, it didn’t matter.
“Rain or shine, it’s a tradition,” said Mewhinnty-Epp, who watched the parade with her young daughters. “My mom was a former host (of Miss America), my father did security, I did teen committee when I was in high school.”
Sisters Ann Marie Brzyski and Jane Boyer, who grew up in Pleasantville, have been coming to the Show Us Your Shoes Parade since they were kids. Boyer now lives in Florida but came home for the event.
“In the old days, when it rained it actually got canceled,” Boyer said.
The women rented $75 rolling chairs to sit in to watch the parade. They brought with them handmade signs and sandwiches from White House Sub Shop.
“We came prepared,” Brzyski said.
Colleen Millian and her daughter Rachael, 15, of Pennsylvania, also sat in rolling chairs. Millian said she hoped the rain would stop, potentially bringing more people out to watch.
“It’s so tough with everything going on in Atlantic City right now,” she said.
At the end of the event, right on cue, a rainbow appeared in the sky.
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