"The Miss America parade is probably the biggest weekend of the year in Atlantic City," said McLaughlin, who lives in Haddon Township. "It belongs here, it should stay here and I'm here every year."
For Middle Atlantic District baton twirlers, the parade was a memorable experience. They had all met while competing against each other. This was a unique experience for them to unite as one. Thirty-two twirlers from the district donned the uniform costumes. They looked amazing and so professional.
Organizers delayed the start time by 15 minutes, in an attempt to catch a lull in the rainstorm. Pageant contestants and parade participants suited up in rain gear, opened umbrellas, and made their way down the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
Atlantic County locals, those in town for the pageant, and parents of contestants modeling their customized shoes did not let the weather hamper their enthusiasm. They cheered for the representative from their state while marching bands played and dancers and baton twirlers sashayed down the boardwalk.
The story behind the shoe theme has it that in the 1970s, spectators to what was then the Miss America parade began shouting, "Show us your shoes!" In the decades since, the pageant has obliged, asking contestants to design shoes representing their state in some way.
What stood out the most about the Middle Atlantic District Baton Twirlers experience were dedication, perseverance and joy. As the rain continued to deluge, they struggled to hold on to their batons and slipped on the wet boardwalk but never once stopped smiling. The twirlers showed the crowd that the rain couldn’t hamper their spirits. There were encouraging cheers for the entirety of the 2-mile parade route. Many spectators thanked the girls for their performance and commended their enthusiasm.
The representatives of the Middle Atlantic District gave 100%. They proved that Mother Nature is no match to their AAU pride! Marching united behind the district’s banner they exuded joy, talent, professionalism and determination. The pageant contestants inspired the twirlers, and the parents, chaperones, spectators and other performers were inspired by the twirlers contagious smiles.
Special thanks to all of the coaches who put this group of girl's from different states together to perform. Well done; they certainly helped the group to shine!
Photos and videos of the parade are posted on the district’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. We encourage you to check out their performances and join us in congratulating their efforts.
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