This week marks the return of the Miss New York competition to downtown Buffalo, with two dozen contestants from across the state taking part.
The 24 young women vying to be crowned Miss New York 2018 held their first official event of the competition Tuesday at Prospect Point in Niagara Falls where they were welcomed by current Miss New York Gabrielle Walter.
"Buffalo actually happens to be my hometown," Walter told reporters.
"The beautiful Buffalo and Niagara region is something that offers people from all over the country that are coming here so many things to see. And here this week we are celebrating 24 wonderful women from all across the state" Walter said.
Earlier this month Gretchen Carlson, Chair of the Miss America Oganization Board of Trustees, announced the end of the swimsuit competition. Carlson says the events are no longer pageants and contestants will not be judged on their physical appearance.
Miss Five Boroughs Nia Franklin says she's sad to see the swimsuit competition go.
"However, I support the past of Miss America and what it was founded on but I'm also really looking forward to the future," said Franklin, who looked to stress other issues.
"My platform is advocating for the arts so I go into schools and I make sure that administration knows the importance of the arts and why they benefit children."
Nina Zesky is Miss Buffalo 2018 and will be competing in this weekend's event. She also served as an unofficial member of the welcoming committee.
"It was so exciting to bring my sisters in my car, driving people around. Normally, Miss New York takes place in New York City. I competed for the last couple years down there so it's really cool to welcome everybody to the City of Good Neighbors."
The Miss New York Competition is June 28th through the 30th at Shea's Performing Arts Center in downtown Buffalo.