#DoAC? For the Miss America contestants, it will be #DoPhilly Thursday night.
Miss America contestants will take a trip to Philadelphia to see some of the city’s historic sites. The tour was arranged by the Atlantic City Alliance, Atlantic City’s tourism marketing arm.
ACA Executive Director Jeff Guaracino said the night out on the other town is part of a contract the ACA has with the Miss America Organization. The roughly $250,000 contract also includes rooms, Jitney rides and other basic necessities, Guaracino said.
Since the night out was required, the ACA decided to use the opportunity to promote the Miss America pageant and the “Show Me your Shoes” parade in a nearby market, Guaracino said.
“Tonight we were able to give them the night out, which was required in the contract. And why not generate some publicity? That’s what we do,” Guaracino said.
The ACA specifically took the Miss America contestants to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall to align them with other American icons and further reinforce the pageant as “the original national pageant that it is,” Guaracino said.
“Our job as the Atlantic City Alliance is to get tourists to visit, so that’s why we go to nearby markets,” he said.
A man dressed as Benjamin Franklin will lead the contestants on the tour, a news release from Miss America Organization said. They will cap off their visit with a round of Philly Mini Golf, rides on the Parx Liberty Carousel and dinner in the Pavilion at Franklin Square.
“They have a very busy week ahead and it’s good for them to relax and get to know each other,” Chelsea Mineur, a spokeswoman for the Miss America Organization said.
The 52 contestants took two Academy charter buses to Philadelphia, Guaracino said.
The Miss America hopefuls arrived in Atlantic City on Aug. 30 to begin preparing for the preliminary competitions, and have basically been shuffled from event to event ever since.
“This is in fact one of the only nights the contestants will really to have to themselves,” Guaracino said.