Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tuscaloosa to host state pageants

Tuscaloosa has just become one of the select cities where the road to the Miss Universe pageant begins.

On November 6-7, the Bama Theatre will host the Miss Alabama USA and Miss Alabama Teen USA pageants. The pageants’ move to Tuscaloosa from Birmingham was announced Wednesday at a news conference at the Greater Tuscaloosa Convention and Visitors Bureau. This is the first move for the pageants in more than 30 years.

Dohn Dye, executive director of the two Miss Alabama pageants, said he was pleased with the move to Tuscaloosa.

“I love Tuscaloosa,” Dye said. “I couldn’t think of a more classy, respectable place to hold it.”

Dye also said bringing the pageant back to Tuscaloosa would also bring it back to where the state’s only Miss Universe came from. Sylvia Hitchcock was a student at the University when she won the Miss Universe pageant in 1967.

Dye said he wants to see students, families and a variety of audiences at the pageant. He also said friends of his from New York City and Los Angeles would come to the pageant, and he wants to impress them with Tuscaloosa’s unique character.

“It’ll be interesting to see,” Dye said. “A lot of them will be coming to the South for the first time. Tuscaloosa has a classy character that could be anywhere in the world.”

Beakie Powell, director of meetings and conventions with the Tuscaloosa Convention and Visitors Bureau, also said character was a key to bringing the pageant to Tuscaloosa.

She said the CVB’s job is to bring tourists into Tuscaloosa and its hotels. Since the CVB gets funding from Tuscaloosa’s lodgings taxes instead of local taxpayers, Powell said the success of the pageant will help CVB advertise Tuscaloosa more and bring in more events.

“This is the kind of event we work several years out to get things lined up,” Powell said. “We’ve been working with Mr. Dye for two years.

“We need lots of University of Alabama girls to participate in the pageant,” Powell added.

Carla Baumann-Rheuby, Miss Alabama Teen USA 2006, also attended the news conference. Like Powell, Baumann-Rheuby said she encouraged students and others to try out for the pageants because she said it could help them come out of their shells.

“It opens up more windows in experience,” Baumann-Rheuby said. “You have to talk, you have to be on stage and you’ve got to be in a swimsuit and a gown. It’s hard for females to have that kind of confidence in themselves. Dohn helped me with a lot of things.”

Applications for the pageant swill be up at on Monday, and Dye said the deadline, while not yet determined, would be sometime in September. Baumann-Rheuby said the challenges of the pageants are worth it, especially for the winners who become role models for girls across the state.

“I still get little girls coming to me where I work, and they want my autograph,” Baumann-Rheuby said.

More to Discover