COVID-19 has forced the newly minted Miss Volunteer America Pageant to push off its debut until late 2021.
In an announcement this week, the organization, which is based in Nashville, Tenn., said its original dates for the pageant’s inaugural event, March 10-13, 2021 is being pushed forward “in the interest of health and safety concerns surrounding the coronavirus epidemic.”
The new nationwide pageant would have drawn women from across the county to compete for educational scholarships and opportunities.
The first Miss Volunteer America preliminaries are now scheduled for Sept. 1 to 3, 2021 and the finals to crown Miss Volunteer America will take place on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.
“While we are confident that our country is on a positive trajectory to recovery, we feel it is in the best interest of our state directors to provide a longer timeframe to hold their state pageants,” said national founder, Allison Alderson DeMarcus in a press release.
“We are disappointed to make the decision to postpone our national finals; however, the broader responsibility presented by the impact of the coronavirus has meant it is not possible to safely host the majority of our qualifying state pageants this summer,” said DeMarcus. “This, coupled with the evolving fluctuations regarding government guidelines concerning large gatherings during states’ phases of reopening, has provided difficulty and uncertainty for state directors as they secure dates for their respective state finals.”
The announcement regarding the delay of the pageant said the decision was made with the “highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of the young women who participate in the scholarship pageants, as well as the many volunteers who comprise state pageant staffs at the forefront of their concerns.”