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The Miss West Virginia USA and Miss West Virginia Teen USA are slated to take place in Buckhannon June 3-5, 2022. / Photo courtesy Pageant Associates

A sequin-studded summer event: Miss WV USA Pageant to take place in Buckhannon this week

BUCKHANNON – Dust off your sashes and polish up your crowns because the Miss West Virginia USA and Miss West Virginia Teen USA pageants are coming to Buckhannon, West Virginia this week.

The pageants are scheduled to take place July 10-11 at the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College. Buckhannon City Recorder and Information Coordinator Randy Sanders has produced these pageants since 2001. As the founder and president of Pageant Associates, Sanders said when he moved back to Buckhannon, he wanted to bring these bring events home with him.

“I just really wanted to make it work because this is my hometown, and I’m on City Council and part of city government now, so part of what I do is try to bring things to Buckhannon,” Sanders said. “Not to mention, it’s such a great theater – it’s not huge by any means, but it is so adaptable that it’s going to give me a lot of ability to go in and do some cool things with it, and I’ll be able to adapt it really well to put on a nice show.”

From left, 2020 titleholders Miss West Virginia Teen USA Sophia Martino and Miss West Virginia USA Charlotte Bellotte will crown 2021’s winners. / Photo by Carlos Velez

He said the City of Buckhannon and Upshur County as a whole will benefit from having all the contestants and their supporters in town.

“It can have a big impact, and the impact is based on how many people compete, so if we have 30 or 40 contestants, that’s going to account for about 10 people usually per contestant who will come to the city, so 300 or 400 people will come in and spend the weekend here and go to restaurants and stay in hotel rooms,” Sanders said. “Besides, the contestants themselves – those 30 or 40 contestants – they’re going to have meals and they’re going to be housed in a local hotel and so forth.”

However, the pageants were given the greenlight only after Sanders submitted a COVID-19 mitigation strategy, and the longtime pageant producer said he’s committed to staging the events in a manner that’s as safe as possible.

Sanders explained the Miss USA pageant is one of the biggest pageants in the country and part of the Miss Universe Pageant system – one of the biggest in the world.

“Contestants could win this pageant, Miss West Virginia USA, and your next pageant would be Miss USA, and if you won that, then you would go to Miss Universe,” Sanders said.

For tickets, visit: https://www.misswestvirginiausa.com.

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