The Miss America Statue

The Miss America Pageant is a well known beauty competition (though they now prefer to call it a scholarship competition) that has run since 1921. Before 2006 it was held annually in Atlantic City, NJ. The organization headquarters was located at the Sheraton Hotel at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Bert Parks was the host for the Miss America pageant from 1955 to 1980. His signature song was “There she is” which he sang to the winner each year. He was let go in 1980 when the pageant officials decided he was too old. There was a grew public outcry not just because he was let go, but how he was let go (they mailed him a letter while he was away on vacation). The news got into the press before he got the letter, so he was notified by reporters seeking a quote that he had been fired.

Johnny Carson tried to get him re-reinstated, but it didn’t work. He did make a return appearance in 1990, and he did sing his song during the show (but not to the winner). He also starred in The Freshman in 1990 & sang a parody of “There she is” to the komodo dragon lizard which was to be served to the Gourmet Club members. In 2006 the pagent moved to Las Vegas, and the headquarters moved to Linwood, NJ.

In his honor, a statue was placed outside the hotel near where you valet your car. The statue shows Parks holding holding out a crown. If you stand and put your head in between his hands, he sings “There she is”. Or at least he used to. For several Bert Parks has been quiet. In 2004 I called the Miss America Pageant and got the run around before being told he was being repaired. I have not visited the statue since so I can not say whether the statue is still there or whether it’s been repaired. You can read more about Bert Parks in the biography by PBS

bertparks

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