ATLANTIC CITY - The Miss America contestants made a splash Monday on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
The 52 women introduced themselves at a special ceremony and will soon begin rehearsals for the contest.
The ceremony drew a small audience outside the historic convention hall. But most other sections of the boardwalk were void of people, suggesting that Atlantic City is struggling tourism-wise.
The Miss America Pageant has been a bright spot for Atlantic City since it returned to New Jersey in 2013. However, four casinos have closed since then, and the Trump Taj Mahal is expected to close soon as well.
The pageant was lured back to New Jersey with state subsidies exceeding $12 million. Critics say that despite the nostalgic return, the Miss America Pageant does not attract as much tourism dollars as it once did.
The new Miss America will be crowned Sept. 11.