The NYS preliminaries for the Miss America Pageant will take place locally in Buffalo tomorrow and Friday at Shea's Performing Arts Center, according to WGRZ , with the final round and crowning of Miss New York taking place on Saturday.

There are 24 contestants from around NYS who visited numerous landmarks in Buffalo and Niagara Falls , which for some contestants was their first time ever in the area,

Nia Franklin, Miss Five Boroughs said,

"I've never been to Niagara Falls before and it's really beautiful and it just makes you stop and take a moment," 

There's a change this time around within the event itself, in that, the swimsuit competition has been eliminated, which I never really understood anyway...I always thought that segment within Beauty Pageants were sexist to the extreme.  According to WGRZ, the contestants themselves weighed in on the decision saying:

“And I think it’s a great thing that we are changing it because it puts emphasis on who we are as people and not what we look like,” (Miss Western New York, C.J. McDermott)

 

“I think it’s really important to maintain relevancy. And we're not going to do that if we are walking around in bikinis in heels,” (Bailee Russell, a Williamsville native whose title is Miss Central Square Apple Festival)

 

“We're focusing on academic achievement. We're focusing on community service. These women up here can do a lot more than what you see on stage. And I think you'll be surprised," (Albany's Baylee Simpson)

 

"We're supporting empowering women. There's no other reason, right? You're supporting an incredible organization that is lifting women up and helping the community. You've got to support it!" (Miss Richmond County Madison L'Insalata)

Emily Mahana, Miss Upstate New York said this regarding the event in general

“It really is just a lot of fun. We just did the opening number and I'm really excited the audience is going to love it. So we hope to see a lot of people here in Buffalo on Saturday," 

More stories you might enjoy: