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Miss Iowa, Miss Iowa Teen USA pageants return to Newton

Published: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 11:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 11:40 a.m. CDT

This Saturday and Sunday, Newton will once again host the Miss Iowa USA and Miss Iowa Teen USA pageants. Libby Watkins, assistant state director for Future Productions, is excited to bring this event back to Newton.

“The Miss Iowa USA and Miss Iowa Teen USA pageants are thrilled to be back in Newton for the third year,” Watkins said. It is wonderful to bring such a high profile and internationally recognized event back to the community of Newton. Thanks to Newton High School, local hotels, local restaurants, and the support of the Newton Convention and Visitors Bureau, we are happy to have found a home for our state pageant.”

The show will be held in Newton Senior High School’s Center for Performance and tickets will be available for purchase at the door. Saturday’s preliminary round start at 8 p.m. and the final round takes place at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Watkins gave some insight as to what Newtonians can expect from the show.

“Over 100 young ladies from across the state will vie for the coveted titles of Miss Iowa USA 2014 and Miss Iowa Teen USA 2014,” Watkins said. “Each contestant will compete in three equally scored areas of competition including interview, swimwear, and evening gown.

“We would encourage local residents to come and check out this exciting event that is happening in their back yards,” she continued. “Newtonians can take pride in watching the National Miss USA telecast and NBC and knowing that their state representative was crowned in their hometown.”

The emcee for this year’s show will be Future Productions Co-Director Denise Wallace. Future is also the official state pageant producer for the Miss Universe Organization. Watkins wouldn’t reveal this year’s judging panel, however, she did give slight hints about them.

“The six judges consist of key players in the business and entertainment industries,” Watkins said. “On this year’s panel, we have judges coming all the way from Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota and South Dakota.”

Watkins also explained what makes judging a pageant so unique.

“Pageantry is subjective. The ladies are not competing in measurable tasks like how fast they run or how high they jump,” she said. “When you get six different people’s opinions on who they each believe to be the most beautiful and capable of representing an international brand, it is anyone’s game. There are no favorites. We wish all of the contestants the best of luck.”

In addition to benefiting the local economy, Watkins spoke about how beneficial these competitions are to charities as well as the contestants.

“We look forward to returning to Newton each year as local dignitaries and many movers and shakers in your community have been such supporters of this event that recognizes young women in your state,” she said. This year, over 1.3 million dollars in scholarships will be available at the pageant.”

“Most importantly, the new Miss Iowa USA 2014 amd Miss Iowa Teen USA 2014 will forge alliances with charitable organizations and causes around the state to bring awareness,” she continued. “Miss Iowa USA 2014 will advance to the nationally televised Miss USA pageant live on NBC television next year. If she wins that, she will compete in front of a worldwide television audience of over 1 billion people to become the next Miss Universe.”

Watkins, NCVB, and the whole team at Future Productions highly recommend attending this year’s shows.

“It’s a live show so anything can happen,” Watkins said. “We are looking forward to the crowning of two deserving young women who’s lives will be forever changed, but even more so we are thrilled to provide all of the contestants the opportunity to celebrate one another’s achievements and be each other’s biggest cheerleaders this weekend. “

“This is an event about women supporting other women,” she continued. “One thing in particular that is exciting is that the newly crowned Miss Iowa USA will head off to the Bahamas to represent the state and serve as a guest of the Atlantis Paradise Island for a celebrity appearance in November.”

Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at trushing@newtondailynews.com.

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