Another Dakota County woman has taken the Miss Minnesota USA crown, which puts her in the running for the Miss USA Pageant and perhaps a chance at the Miss Universe competition.
The competition was held at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center on Sunday, Nov. 25. Judges chose Danielle Hooper of Inver Grove Heights as Miss Minnesota USA 2013, and Maggie McGill of Plymouth as Miss Minnesota Teen USA 2013. Hooper is a 2010 graduate of Simley Senior High School. She is currently studying retail merchandising and management at the University of Wisconsin–Stout.
The annual competition includes three segments: evening gown, swimwear and interview. Only unmarried women between the ages of 14 and 26 can compete. Both titleholders will advance to the next level, the MISS USA and MISS TEEN USA national pageants, respectively.
Hooper takes the crown from 2012's Miss Minnesota USA, Nitaya Panemalaythong, of Savage. Panemalaythong, a Laotian immigrant born in a Thia refugee camp, was Minnesota's first Asian American to take the title.
To see a video of Hooper's crowning, click here.
Miss Minnesota USA should not be confused with Miss Minnesota, the program that is the qualifier for the Miss America competition. Miss Minnesota USA is a preliminary for a different pageant—the MISS UNIVERSE and MISS USA Pageants, which are a Donald J. Trump and NBC Universal partnership.