Rich history of Miss Michigan pageantry

19 Jun 2018 | Angelique Reyes

The representative for the Miss America pageant for the state of Michigan is appointed through Miss Michigan contest. The province has already won the Miss America crown five times and still insists on bringing the crown home yet another time.

Muskegon is the city that has been the home of the Miss Michigan pageant since 1951. These are the Michigan beauties that have been crowned Miss America over the years, Patricia Donnelly (1939), Nancy Fleming (1960), Pamela Eldred (1969), Kaye Lani Rae Rafko (1987), Kirsten Haglund (2007).

The state has been sending contestants to the national pageant since 1921 but only became a household name from year 1939, which is when the first Miss Michigan had the honor to grace the title and crown of Miss America. Patricia Donnelly of Detroit was the first to accomplish the glory on the Atlantic City boardwalk.


Rich history of Miss Michigan pageantry

(Photo Credits: Emily Sioma Instagram Official)

The Frauenthal Center better known as the Michigan Theater back in the days was where the pageants were conducted, when Muskegon became the second home for pageants. It was then moved to the L.C. Walker Area in the 1960s. Nancy Fleming, of Montague was crowned Miss Michigan 1960, becoming the state’s second national champion.

If we look at it, that which state has produced the most  number of beauty queens , state only lags behind a spot from California, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma which have six wins each , and ties with Illinois and Pennsylvania boasting five wins each.

As Miss America pageant is now excluding the swimsuit and evening gown rounds, this is probably the last year that the pageant will include all its conventional stages of interview, talent, evening gown, on-stage question and swimsuit. 

The national pageant has surely come a long way from being held as a bathing beauty contest in 1921 to now being the five time holder of the Miss America pageant.

Emily Sioma of Grass Lake is the newly crowned Miss Michigan 2018. Let’s see what new history the cards hold in for her at Atlantic City, New Jersey where Miss America 2019 will be held.