by MIKE CHAIKEN
The annual Miss Connecticut competition officially has a new date and a new home.
In a Zoom-based meeting on Sunday, Jan. 10, the competition’s Board of Directors and executive director announced the event, which is a precursor to the Miss America competition, will be held at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville April 11-13.
The last Miss Connecticut competition was held in 2019 at The Palace Theater in Waterbury.
The state event cancelled its 2020 competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, the 2019 titleholders, Miss Connecticut Jillian Duffy of Burlington and Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen Lindiana Frangu of Woodbury, were asked to stay on another year until their successors could be selected.
Miss America has yet to announce a date for 2021. The national event also canceled its 2020 entry due to COVID. The last Miss America was crowned at the Mohegan Sun Arena in December 2019.
“COVID has changed a lot,” said Miss Connecticut’s executive director Ashley Reid. But, she said this year’s competition will be live and in-person, albeit socially distanced. There also will be a livestream component for those guests who are concerned about safety.
“I’m super excited about it,” said Reid.
For the sake of the safety of the candidates and the staff, Reid said there will be some other changes. There will be a smaller audience, thus there will be fewer tickets available. There also will be no open rehearsals for the candidates.
Reid said the organization has a three year contract with the casino.
Historically, the state competition was held in June.
Reid said the move to April will be beneficial to the winners, especially the Outstanding Teen titleholder. The women will have a couple of extra months to prepare for the national events.
The national Outstanding Teen competition has historically been held in July in Orlando, Fla. The 2020 competition also was a COVID casualty.
2021 will be the 100th anniversary of the Miss America competition and the 93rd anniversary for the Miss Connecticut contest.
Currently, Miss Connecticut is accepting registrations for contestants. The deadline is Jan. 15. Miss contestants must be ages 18-24. Teen titleholders must be from 13-17 years old. To register or for information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit missct.org/state-competition.
There are no local competitions this year due to COVID. Each candidate selects their particular title to hold heading into Miss Connecticut. The board said local competitions are expected to resume once COVID concerns have been alleviated.