Hollywood, FL

Miss Universe competition held in the City of Hollywood for the first time

Adriana Jimenez

(HOLLYWOOD, Fla.) This week, the City of Hollywood, is in the international spotlight as it hosts the 2021 Miss Universe competition.

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From left to right pictured, Miss Universe India, Miss Universe Chile, Miss Universe Italy, and Miss Universe PhilippineMiss Universe Organization

While South Florida has hosted the Miss Universe pageant seveteen times since the competition started in 1952, this year marks the first time the pageant takes place in Broward County. Local officials say the event is the perfect opportunity to showcase what the City of Hollywood offers.

"As the delegates post images from their experience in our city, they are expanding the City of Hollywood's brand and name recognition around the globe. Additionally, while the ongoing COVID pandemic has reduced pageant attendance, the pageant still brings a few thousand visitors to our area, many of whom are visiting our beach, shopping, and dining out," said Raelin Storey, Communications Director at the City of Hollywood.

The pageant returns with a live audience after a year and a half hiatus due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Now, 74 participants from around the world will convene at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Sunday, May 16th, for its 69th edition.

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Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Traditionally, candidates take part in a series of pre-pageant events prior to the final gala, but this year, most of the activities focused on rehearsals, photo, and video shoots. Still, contestants had the opportunity to explore the city following COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. "The City of Hollywood and the Downtown District of our Community Redevelopment Agency helped to coordinate with ten of our Downtown Hollywood restaurants to host groups of delegates for dinner on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings this week," said Storey.

As for the big night, the Hollywood Hard Rock Hotel and Casino will be enforcing masks and social distancing on-site, and anyone who attends the show needs to have a negative test for COVID-19. "We have spent months planning and preparing safety precautions to develop this edition of Miss Universe—one that will be memorable, special, and totally innovative," Miss Universe Organization president Paula M. Shugart said in a press release.

The Miss Universe competition airs in more than 160 countries across the globe. The three-hour final gala will feature categories, including personal statement, swimsuit, evening gown, and interview. Actor-television host Mario Lopez and former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo will host the event, and American rapper Pitbull is scheduled to perform. The night will end with Zozibini Tunzi, who will be the longest-ever reigning Miss Universe, crowning her successor.

You can watch the event live Sunday, May 16th, on FOX and Telemundo for the Spanish-language broadcast.

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