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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

Crowns in town: Organizers of Miss West Virginia USA pageants prepare for a sellout crowd

BUCKHANNON – The Miss West Virginia USA and Miss West Virginia Teen USA pageants will take place in Buckhannon, West Virginia for the first time ever this weekend – and together, they’re expected to be a sellout.

The pageant will take place at the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College and will be live streamed at http://www.pageantvision.com for $39.99 for both shows. Randy Sanders, state director of Miss USA/Miss Teen USA state pageant, said physical tickets may still be purchased, but the online form is closed.

“We’ll sit down and see what we have left in the house, which we have probably 100 tickets left for Sunday,” said Sanders, who also works as city recorder and information coordinator for the City of Buckhannon. “We have more for Saturday, but for Sunday, out of the 360 seats, we have about 100 left to sell, and it should be a sellout.”

Sanders said the PAC theater has undergone several upgrades since the last pageant season, and this will be the first time they are on display.

The center stage with new accent lighting from American Technology Rentals out of Charleston W.Va.

“I know Keith [Saine] added a lot of new technology since the last season himself, and he’s worked this past week, integrating the new technology into the theater and we’re going to give it a first run,” Sanders said. “They have super networking capabilities for our webcasting, and that helped them when they had to go off campus and do a lot of online courses; they had really good connectivity to do the online courses.”

Sanders, who’s the founder and president of Pageant Associates, enjoys organizing and orchestrating large-scale events. Not only does he have decades of experience producing pageants, he was also instrumental in attracting the World Association of Marching Show Bands Association to host their 2023 championship event in Buckhannon. He said pulling off this weekend’s production has been no small task.

The view the contestants will have of the audience.

“We have a team here from Charleston, as well as the one from Missouri, who are collaborating to webcast this and put it all together, so it’s been a big effort to put all these folks together, network them together, get them in here to do this,” Sanders said.

Although this is the first time the Miss West Virginia pageants are taking place in Upshur County, Sanders said he hopes it’s not the last and would like for Buckhannon to continue to host the event.

“Pageantry has its critics – there’s folks that say pageants are kind of outdated and so forth, and my answer to that is, ‘pageantry will go away when young women quit participating; we do not go out and convert people to be in the pageants,’” Sanders said. “We don’t pay people to be in a pageant, they pay to be in a pageant and cover their costs and participation.”

“I have always said, if people want to participate in something, that society should allow them to do that,” he said. “Everyone has a right to say they don’t think pageants should be held anymore, but when they’re popular enough to have 30 young women come back in and and participate, why tell the 30 women, they shouldn’t be able to do what they want to do?”

More information about the pageant can be found here.

A banner on the front of the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts.

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