Get ready, New Orleans — the Miss Universe pageant is coming to town!
The City of New Orleans announced on Monday (September 19) that, for the first time ever, the city will host the 71st annual Miss Universe Pageant at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on January 14, 2023, welcoming around 90 women from 67 countries around the world as they compete for the crown, per WWL.
Walt Leger III, executive vice president and incoming CEO of New Orleans & Company is excited that New Orleans will get to show off its vibrant culture to millions of viewers around the world tuning in to the pageant.
"Hosting the 71st annual Miss Universe pageant is a rare, prestigious opportunity to positively showcase New Orleans to a global viewing audience in 165 countries and territories," said Leger.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell said hosting the pageant will be an honor, adding that both New Orleans and the organization "share common values of celebrating inclusion, culture and the empowerment of women." Cantrell said the competition will also highlight "why New Orleans is the best in the world at executing major events, festivals, conferences and conventions with a culture that is absolutely unmatched," a sentiment also shared by the organization.
"I look forward to our delegates from all over the world getting to experience all [New Orleans] has to offer," said Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization. Hosting the event in New Orleans has been a goal for the organization for while, with Shugart citing the city's arts, entertainment and culinary scene as reasons why it would be a good fit.