News alert: Miss USA returning to BR, Holden confirms

Mayor Kip Holden this morning confirmed the Miss USA pageant will be returning to Baton Rouge this summer. Holden made the unexpected announcement at a press conference this morning, at which he was expected to discuss litter.

“I am happy to tell you Miss USA is coming back to Baton Rouge,” Holden said. “They enjoyed it so much last year they called us and said they’re coming back.”

Though the timing of Holden’s announcement was unexpected, news of the development was not. Last month, the mayor’s office asked the Metro Council to appropriate $230,000 for expenses related to the 2015 pageant. At the time, an administration spokesman would say only that no deal had been finalized, though the request led to multiple reports that the pageant would be returning for a second year. The Metro Council is expected to vote on the request at its meeting later today.

Last year’s event took place before a sold-out Baton Rouge River Center crowd and was aired live on NBC. About 70 countries saw the broadcast, which included many flattering shots of the Capital City.

—Stephanie Riegel

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