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Miss Universe in Puerto Rico
April 13, 2001
On May 11, more than 3.5 billion people from different countries will be glued to their televisions, watching the CBS broadcast of Miss Universe Pageant's grand spectacle. This international beauty contest has the most followers worldwide. People from a diversity of nationalities, ethnicities, and language groups will be commenting about this 50th anniversary event, which is to be held in Puerto Rico.
This won't be the island's first time to have the honor of hosting the pageant. In 1972, when it was first celebrated out of the U.S., the island made the scoop.
Puerto Rico has been preparing for this big occasion for months. At a cost of $41.5 million, Bayamón's Rubén Rodríguez Coliseum has been renovated for the comfort of the 7,000 people who will witness this grand night. A storehouse, dressing and sewing rooms, a dining room for the 90 beautiful delegates, and a pressroom for 700 reporters was constructed. The stage, designed in Hollywood, is inspired by images of the island. Its construction is a task by Joe García, a Puerto Rican architect. Miss Universe Inc. and CBS will be in charge of sound and lighting equipment. Puerto Rican artist Migdalia Barens designed a commemorative serigraphy for the event. The poster logo is painted in gold in honor of the pageant's 50th anniversary.
The names of the 49 Miss Universes surround the central image, with special lighting effects. Five hundred copies of these posters will be available for $175 each.
TeleOnce, the Miss Universe P.R. franchise owner, will broadcast the contest. The Tourism Co. is a sponsor, contributing $2.5 million for the event. Their campaign, entitled "Puerto Rico, te quiero preciosa" ("Puerto Rico, I want you beautiful"), encourages Puerto Ricans to keep the island beautiful for their international guests.
The island also is being promoted worldwide as a tourism destiny.
Once in Puerto Rico, Miss Universe candidates will enjoy a welcoming party at Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort in Rio Grande, where they also will stay. Among activities in which they will participate are an auction, shopping gala, typical gown show, the preliminary contest, rehearsals, official parties, and fashion shows.
Some things have changed since the Miss Universe Pageant began 50 years ago. In years past, two-piece bathing suits and pants weren't permitted. Fifteen semifinalists were chosen, and the bathing suits section wasn't recorded outdoors.
The selected Miss Universe made the final walk with a cape draped over her shoulders. However, what hasn't changed is the event's numerous followers.
This year, the eyes of the world will be looking at Puerto Rico. It will be great international exposure to show off the beauties of the island, including its candidate Denise Quiñones. Of course, receiving visits from delegates from around the world makes Puerto Rico more beautiful than ever.
The Preliminary Contest will be May 6, at 6:30 p.m., and the Final Night, May 11, at 8 p.m., both at Rubén Rodríguez Coliseum. After the finals, there will be a Crowning Gala at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium, also in Bayamón. Prices for the three events and a commemorative serigraphy are $1,010 for the arena, $760 yellow box, $660 center general, and $525 lateral numbered. Tickets are available at La Gran Discoteca and Ticket Center. For more information, call (787) 759-5000 or 740-2170.