MARION – The Miss Illinois Scholarship Organization announced this week the Miss Illinois 2020 Competition, previously scheduled for June in Marion, has been delayed until 2021 due to COVID-19.
The action follows the Miss America Organization’s announcement last week that the Miss America 2021 competition, which would have been held in December 2020, would be delayed. All 50 states and the District of Columbia, which send state winners to the Miss America competition, have been advised to delay their qualifying competitions.
Miss Illinois is usually crowned in June at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center from among regional winners throughout the state. The Miss Illinois board made June 14-19, 2021 the dates of next year’s pageant. All 2020 winners of regional contests will still have an opportunity to compete for the Miss Illinois crown in 2021.
Ariel Beverly, crowned Miss Illinois 2019 in Marion last June, competed for the crown of Miss America 2020 last December. She will continue her reign as Miss Illinois until next year’s event.
“We as a board support Miss America’s decision to postpone the state and national programs for the year. We believe that this will give us a better opportunity to plan a program for our participants that is worthy of their efforts as local contestants,” Ashley Hatfield, director of the Miss Illinois Scholarship Organization said. “We want the candidates to get the full Miss Illinois experience, but above all else, we want to ensure the safety of all involved and the public. When I told the contestants about the postponement, I was overwhelmed by how well they took the news. The young women who represent our program throughout Illinois embody strength and resilience.”
“I believe this creates an amazing opportunity for the Miss America Organization, which will now be able to devote even more time and energy to developing an incredible program for next year, when we will be celebrating our 100th anniversary,” Hatfield added.
The Miss America Organization will work with the Miss Illinois organization and other state qualifying organizations to amend rules and eligibility for the 2020 and 2021 competition years.
For more information about the Miss Illinois program, click here.