Last week we got onboard SS Nomadic for the launch of the 2014 Open + Direct Miss Northern Ireland contest.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since our last MissNI launch and the resulting piece on Belfast Times ended up being in our 10 most viewed of the year. Read it here.
This year the newly refurbished Nomadic was the launch venue and even though we arrived a wee bit late, we still got all the biz and even managed a few selfies with Zoe Salmon and the current MissNI Meagan Green.
Other former winners of the contest joined event organiser Alison Clarke and us all on board to officially launch the 2014 Open + Direct Miss Northern Ireland contest last week.
The contest which is now in its 28th year, organised by ACA Models, will see hundreds of young ladies compete for the coveted Open + Direct Miss Northern Ireland title in a series of heats that will take place in venues across the province this Spring, starting on 27th February at 21 Social, Belfast and finishing on 27th April at Betty Blacks, Bangor.
The grand finale will take place on Monday 12th May at the Europa Hotel, Belfast. The glittering event will be hosted by former Miss Northern Ireland and television presenter Zoe Salmon and UTV’s Marc Mallett.
Contest organiser Alison Clarke welcomed 2014 hopefuls and former winners to the launch event, she said: “It was wonderful to launch the contest alongside our headline sponsor Open + Direct on board the beautiful Nomadic Belfast, which has been restored to her original glory. Over the years the Miss Northern Ireland contest has grown in stature so we wanted this year’s launch to be somewhere meaningful that represented the best of Northern Ireland.
“Our contest is all about finding talented young women, who will be judged not only on their appearance but also on their presence, self expression, intelligence and poise. We were overwhelmed by the number and calibre of the girls who graced our contest last year and as such, we have introduced an extra heat to accommodate them.
“The winner will become an ambassador for Northern Ireland at events far and wide during 2014, so it’s vital they have a great personality too!”
Current title holder Meagan Green said: “It was an honour to be crowned Open + Direct Miss Northern Ireland 2013. I’ve had the best year of my life representing Northern Ireland at charity and business events throughout 2013. Not to mention the stellar prize package, which included a modeling contract with ACA Models, a Kia car from Downey’s, a new wardrobe of clothes, beauty treatments and products, basically everything a girl could ever wish for.
“The title has given me the chance to travel as far as Indonesia to take part in the Miss World contest and meet people I wouldn’t have otherwise met. The contest is a great opportunity for local girls to network, meet new people and gain confidence.”
Colin McEvoy, Head of Open + Direct said: “Everyone at Open + Direct’s 15 local branches is excited to be involved with the iconic Miss Northern Ireland contest in its 28th glamorous year. We’ll be at every regional heat, sitting in one of the judge’s chairs and will be running a range of fantastic competitions up until the final.
“No doubt, this year’s contest will be as fun and glamorous as ever and we’d like to wish all the girls taking part the best of luck. Open + Direct looks forward to crowning a new winner who will represent Northern Ireland in the Miss World Contest.”
Event organisers are seeking ambitious young women aged between 17 and 24 years old from all parts of Northern Ireland to compete for the crown in May. Entrants should send a photograph with their name and address to the Open + Direct Miss Northern Ireland Contest, 381 Beersbridge Road, Belfast, BT5 5DT.
For further information and a full list of heats and prizes, please visit www.missnorthernireland.co.uk