Miss Virginia pageant makes a big comeback at Berglund Center
ROANOKE, Virginia (WFXR) – Time to roll out the crowns and belts!
Thursday, June 17, Miss Virginia contest kicked off its three-day event at the Berglund Center. This year will mark the 66th time the center has hosted the statewide competition – but not consecutively.
In 2018, the competition moved to Liberty University in Lynchburg. Then last year, the coronavirus pandemic canceled the event.
Shannon Bradford, a Louisa County resident whose daughter is running for Miss Virginia, said she was happy officials brought her back to Roanoke.
“I’m super excited we’re back in Roanoke for Miss Virginia, especially after [COVID-19] and be away for a few years, ”Bradford said. “The City of Stars is a very welcoming and beautiful place.”
The town of Roanoke had been hosting the Miss Virginia pageant since 1953, until some postmen voted against it.
“There were a number of factors that involved our move. [For example], we have teamed up with one of our educational partners, ”said MC Gravely, executive director of the Miss Virginia organization.
Gravely adds that stakeholder feedback led to the event being located in Roanoke, while COVID-19 vaccinations were rolled out and restrictions were lifted.
“Being able to reward these young women for their patience and resilience during this pandemic has just been really, really rewarding,” said Gravely.
Meanwhile, officials at the Berglund Center couldn’t be happier with the return of competition.
For Robert Knight, Director of Sales and Marketing, the opportunity to dress the room and meet new people again.
“It’s probably been a year and a half since I last put on a shirt and tie,” Knight said.
The Miss Virginia pageant is already set to be the centre’s biggest event since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s so awesome that we can do that with this event coming back to Roanoke with such a historic connection and traditions to the area,” Knight said.
Bringing a Sense of Normalcy Residents of Virginia are more than ready for.
“It’s great to be back,” said Knight. “You don’t really know how much you miss it until you can’t do it for a while. “
The Miss Virginia contest schedule is as follows:
- Thursday June 17: Preliminaries
- Friday June 18: Exceptional Teen Contest
- Saturday: Finals
For more information or tickets for the competition, visit the Berglund Center website here.