When the Miss America Pageant returned to Atlantic City in 2013, the event was commemorated by the unveiling of a new statue at Kennedy Plaza on the Boardwalk. The statue, which was designed by artist Brian Hanlon of Toms River, New Jersey, depicts a larger-than-life Miss America holding a crown in her outstretched hands, ready to pass her title on to a new winner. The idea of the statue was first suggested by local radio personality Pinky Kravitz, who thought it would be a good idea to have a statue that could both commemorate the Pageant and provide for a fun photo opportunity for visitors.
When the first version of the statue, a temporary resin copy, was unveiled on September 3, 2013, Miss America contestants from around the country were on hand. They became the first of many to mime a crowning moment under the arms of the statue. On April 28, 2014, the permanent bronze version of the statue was unveiled. It stands at 7.5 feet tall, and weighs 6,000 pounds. The statue is largely modeled after Miss America 2013, Mallory Hagan, but also incorporates some facial features of the two Miss America winners from New Jersey, Bette Cooper and Suzette Charles. Charles, along with Miss America 2014 Nina Davaluri, was on hand for the permanent statue’s unveiling. It has proven to be a popular tourist attraction and photo spot ever since.
For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:
Atlantic City Press, articles from September 3, 2013; September 13, 2013; and April 29, 2014.