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70 women vie for Miss Florida USA crown

There's a lot of beauty pageants that clamber for your attention throughout the year, and the latest is the Miss Florida USA pageant, which will crown a new Miss Florida USA this Saturday in Fort Lauderdale.

There are 70 contestants from around the state including Miss Orlando USA, Miss Thornton Park USA, Miss Lake Eola USA, Miss Central Florida USA and Miss Orange County USA.

You can view all the contestants in our photo gallery.

The winner will go on to represent Florida in the Miss USA pageant, but not this year. That pageant just finished last month. This winner will go to the Miss Florida USA 2015 pageant. The contestants have been in Hollywood all week doing preliminary competitions. The winner will be crowned at a ceremony at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Central Florida residents can watch the pageant on Sunday, July 13 from 1-3 p.m. on WRDQ-TV, channel 27.

If you feel like we just had a Miss Florida pageant, we did. That was the pageant that feeds into the Miss America pageant. This year's Miss Florida was thought to be Leesburg resident Elizabeth Fechtel, but an audit of the results revealed that Fechtel's crowning was in error, and Panama City resident Victoria Cowen will get to represent the state in the 2014 Miss America pageant on Sept. 14 in Atlantic City, N.J.

The Miss Florida USA pageant feeds into the Miss USA pageant that feeds into the Miss Universe pageant. So this year's Miss Florida USA winner is competing for a shot at next year's Miss USA pageant.

The big difference between the Miss USA and Miss America pageant is the talent competition, which is only in the Miss America pageant.

The Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants are run by Donald Trump.

So who from Central Florida is vying for this year's crown?

Miss Kissimmee USA Devyn Bedford
Miss Sanford USA Marissa Danish
Miss Thornton Park USA Mercaydes Jackson
Miss Daytona Beach USA Elise Lobb
Miss West Volusia USA Gabriella Lopez
Miss Lake Eola USA Heather Martin
Miss Melbourne USA Ashley McKenzie
Miss Orange County USA Lacey Morgan
Miss Orlando USA Christina Nicholson
Miss Lakeland USA Kristie O’Brien
Miss Central Florida USA Kailyn Perez
Miss Space Coast USA Rachel Stacy

Also from Central Florida are

Miss Jacksonville Beach USA Summer Hartig from Kissimmee
Miss Charlotte USA 2015 Annie McFarland (a former Miss Orange County Teen USA)
Miss Tampa Bay USA Stephanie Ziajka, who graduated from UCF
Miss West Broward USA Melissa Ziegler of Titusville High and UCF

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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