ATLANTIC CITY – The Miss America pageant returns to Atlantic City this year after a six year absence, airing Sunday night on ABC at 9 p.m.
Cara McCollum, Miss New Jersey 2013, is serving as the unofficial pageant hostess though the 21-year-old has lived in the Garden State for just three years since becoming a student at Princeton University.
“It’s a particularly touchy subject this year because it’s the pageant back and I’m the hometown girl, so people have been surprised to find that this was not my original hometown,” McCollum told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “But I think if you talk to me and you get to know me, I’ve got the Jersey girl spunk, I can honk just as fast as the next girl.”
McCollum is originally from Arkansas, but says she became a “Jersey girl” as soon as she set foot on the Princeton campus. The Miss New Jersey Education Foundation, which organizes the Miss New Jersey pageant, only requires contestants to live, work or go to school in the state for a minimum of six months.
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