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Miss America contestants show off their shoes in New Jersey parade [PHOTOS]

Miss America contestants wore cowboy boots, shoes with a cactus growing out of them for annual parade.
By DANIELLE HAYNES, UPI.com   |   Sept. 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM   |   Comments

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Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Miss America contestants donned seashell-studded pumps, Army footwear and cowboy boots Saturday during Atlantic City, N.J.'s annual Show Us Your Shoes Parade.

The event featured all 53 Miss America contestants in bedazzled and over-the-top footwear combined with flashy costumes, The (New Jersey) Star-Telegram reported.

Miss Oregon, Allison Cook, wore cow-themed knee-high boots with goggly eyes on the toes, Miss Arizona, Jennifer Smestad, had a giant green cactus growing out of one of her shoes, and Miss New Jersey, Cara McCollum, had starfish, oyster pearls and seashells bedazzling her pumps.

The parade featured 14 marching bands, 49 dancing groups, 14 floats and 16 choirs as it wound its way down a nearly 2-mile route on the Atlantic City boardwalk.

The Show Us Your Shoes parade has its roots in 1972 when spectators asked contestants to show them their shoes as the women walked home after pageant rehearsals. The contestants didn't comply because they were wearing slippers to rest their tired feet.

"The next year the girls got smart,'' said John Best, the parade's executive producer. "They started designing shoes and it caught on. They're the ones who created (the event). This didn't come from anywhere else, this didn't come from any other city.''

The finale of the Miss America competition is Sunday evening.

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