March. 13 (UPI) — Donald Trump announced on Thursday that Baton Rouge will host this year’s Miss USA competition.
The 67-year-old entrepreneur owns the Miss Universe Organization, and spoke on behalf of the competition on Today.
“Baton Rouge is just a place that really wanted us,” Trump said. “We had about twelve places that were fighting for the rights, and we just decided Baton Rouge is sort of the home of pageantry, it’s sort of the home of the whole beauty thing.”
“They’re terrific people, and they’re going to put on a great show,” he continued. “Usually we got to Las Vegas… It’s great, but we thought we’d move it.”
In 2005, Baton Rouge played host to Miss Teen USA, but the devastation of Hurricane Katrina prevented the competition from returning to the city as planned in 2006.
“The sense of community that Baton Rogue has is incredibly inspiring,” Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart said in a press release. “The hospitality shown to us while we were there was second to none. I am looking forward to bringing an event back to Baton Rouge to experience the charm of the Capital City.”
Baton Rouge looks forward to the event as well. “It is an honor to host the Miss USA pageant,” Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne said in a statement. “It is an incredible opportunity for Baton Rogue to shine on a national stage and I expect the delegates will enjoy our unique culture and joie de vivre.”
The competition will proceed in its usual format, with contestants from all fifty states and District of Columbia. Participants will be judged in the categories of swimsuit, evening gown, and interview. Last year’s champion was Miss Connecticut, Erin Brady.
The 2014 Miss USA pageant will take place at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 8.