Jersey Loves its 'Show Us Your Shoes' ParadeLast Edited:
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. --In its 97th year, the Miss America Pageant is still a beloved tradition for New Jersey residents and for visitors to Atlantic City.
That was evidenced by the enormous showing of fans on the Atlantic City Boardwalk on Saturday, September 9th, during the traditional "Show Us Your Shoes" parade.
“I’ve been following Miss America since I was five years old," said Ken Rinear. "It was a family tradition. My mother, my father, my brother and I would watch the pageant every single year and I’ve never missed one.”
Rinear has not only watched the pageant every year, he’s participated in the festivities, as well.
He has volunteered his time by driving pageant titleholders in parades like this one for many years. And while some volunteers are drivers, others are entertainers.
John Mitsler discussed the Atlantic City Fire Department's Sand Pipers Pipe and Drum Band's approximately 20-year involvement in the parade.
“Oh, this is our favorite," said Mitsler. "It’s one of the most well attended parades that we do, and it’s usually a beautiful night. We look forward to this one.”
The Miss America "Show Us Your Shoes" parade started in the 1980s and although it took a brief hiatus from Atlantic City — when the pageant moved to Las Vegas from 2006-2013 — New Jersey residents are always glad to see it back in their home state.
“When they moved it we were so sad," said Betti Dale, who has been attending the pageant and the parade for decades. "But it’s good now. It's back!
As the pageant approaches its centennial anniversary, New Jersey pageant fans have high hopes that Miss America will continue walking the iconic runway in Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall every September.
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