Springfield will be the new home of the Miss Ohio USA and Miss Ohio Teen USA pageants in 2016, officials from the events said Thursday.
Chamber officials said they have tried for several months to bring the event to Springfield, and hope it will become an annual tradition. The event could draw as many as 2,000 people to the area for the Nov. 6-7, 2016, weekend, and could have about a $500,000 local economic impact, said Chris Schutte, director of marketing and the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.
“This event’s economic impact is significant for our community,” Schutte said.
The event has a long history, as the national event began with a 1952 competition in Long Beach, Calif. Winners of the Miss Ohio portion of the event can eventually move on to the Miss USA and Miss Universe competitions.
The event took place in Portsmouth, Ohio, for several years, Schutte said, but event organizers decided to move it because Springfield has larger facilities and more lodging.
“They just felt like they were beginning to outgrow what Porstmouth could offer,” Schutte said.
The event will take place at the Clark State Community College Performing Arts Center next year. It will include three segments, including an evening gown and swimsuit competition, as well as an interview.
The competition is already accepting applications for next year, according to information from event organizers. Women must be between 13 and 26 years old, have never been married or have children and must be an Ohio and U.S. resident. Hopefuls can apply at www.missohiousa.com.
The winner of next year’s event will win travel, jewelry, about $40,000 in scholarships and represent the state in the televised Miss USA pageant. The Miss Universe Organization is a joint event sponsored by Donald Trump and NBCUniversal.
If successful, Schutte said the event can help bring more recognition to Springfield, and could become an annual event here. Organizers announced the move during the chamber’s annual business expo Thursday evening.
“We have an expectation we will be their home for the foreseeable future,” Schutte said.