Thursday, March 22, 2012 , Updated 12:00 a.m., June 29, 2012
Allen Event Center to host Miss Texas pageant
The event is projected to bring more than $500,000 to the city.
After 50 years in Tarrant County, the Miss Texas competition is packing up its crowns and bouquets and heading for Allen.
The annual pageant will be held at the Allen Event Center for the first time June 30-July 7 and is expected to bring 1,000 to 2,000 visitors to the city.
The competition joins the Tom Thumb Texas Stampede and the Lone Star Conference as a high-profile annual event hoped to boost awareness of the Event Center and bring outside sales tax dollars to the city.
The event is projected to bring more than $500,000 to the city from hotel occupancy and sales tax revenues, said Karen Cromwell, director of Allen's convention and visitor's bureau.
"Basically, that means the money that's being spent in Allen on hotel rooms, shopping, dining, and entertainment," Cromwell said. "[The people who are coming from out of town] are spending money that leaves sales tax revenue in our city. That benefits the residents of Allen by adding to the budget that we use to maintain parks and [the Event Center]."
Allen competed with Frisco, Irving, and Dallas to secure the pageant, Cromwell said. The city was able to meet the $20,000 sponsorship fee required by event organizers by putting up $9,000 from a hotel fund grant next to $5,000 from The Village at Allen, $5,000 from the town of Fairview, and $1,000 from Watters Creek.
"Competing against the other cities is a challenge for us," Cromwell said. "Those cities are running with budgets for the tourism offices that are much larger because they have more hotels, so they have more funding available through the hotel occupancy tax. So therefore when we're competing against them, I need my partners to help me bridge that gap."
The Miss Texas pageant was founded in 1936 as a means to provide personal and professional opportunities for young Texas women. This year's winner will represent the state of Texas and have a shot at the crown at the 2013 Miss America competition.
Metzger said Miss Texas winners must represented the "four points of the crown" -- scholarship, style, success, and service -- during their reign, keeping a rigorous schedule of appearances in classrooms and at county fairs and sports events throughout the state.
"I would not be the person I am today without this experience, and there are many young women who come through the system and become doctors, lawyers, teachers, senators, statesmen; all kinds of things," she said. "It's really quite the professional growth opportunity."
The pageant moves from its prior home at the University of Texas Arlington, where it was hosted for the past three years. Prior to its stay in Arlington, the event was held in Fort Worth.
"The thing that made Allen most attractive was just the community support and the fact that the venue and the hotel and all the retailers are so close together," Metzger said, "so it's going to be a great destination for our families that come in."
The Miss Texas Organization will participate in several community events in the coming weeks, including Allen Community Outreach's March 29 prom event and a special group night at the April 14 Allen Wranglers game.
The event will arrive in full when contestants participate in the June 30 Allen USA celebration. The first preliminary competition begins at the Event Center July 1. The final competition and crowning will be held July 7.
"This is the first time we've had this many seats to be able to sell, so we are so excited," Metzger said. "We've always been limited to about 2,200 and so here we have 8,100, and we were able to drop our ticket prices down where a family of four can really afford to come out and see the pageant."
Pegasus News Content partner - Star Local News
- Restaurant review: La Duni desserts are the highlight of the meal
- SNL threesome Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon, and Dennis Miller to joke around in Allen
- Allen breaks ground on Hillside Park, a new outdoor exercise facility
- Allen Community Outreach food pantry will offer healthier options
- Recipes: Dream of April in Paris with this classic bistro meal