BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — When Caitlyn McTier was crowned Miss Hoover in November 2019, she had no idea she would have to wait more than a year-and-a-half to compete for Miss Alabama.
Starting tonight, she’ll finally get that opportunity.
McTier is one of the contestants in the first Miss Alabama Competition since 2019. Last year’s event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re so excited to finally get to compete this weekend at the Alabama Theatre downtown, (we) just honestly have just been waiting for this day for so long,” McTier said.
Because of last year’s cancellation, McTier served as Miss Hoover for much longer than a winner typically would. It gave her more time to focus on her platform highlighting food insecurity among children and college students, an issue that was worsened by the pandemic.
“For the last few months, we’ve really struggled with poverty within our communities, even in communities that had never been affected that much by food insecurity and homelessness,” she said. “Because of the pandemic (we) had to find those resources where we could, and so that has been one of my top priorities.”
The extra time between competitions also served as a learning experience for McTier.
“This is actually my fourth year of going to the Miss Alabama pageant, and so you finally think you get the hang of things, and I think COVID taught us that everything we thought we knew, we did not,” she said. “So having to just adapt, I think I really grew from the experience, and it’s made me a lot more prepared this year.”
The Miss Alabama competition starts at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Alabama Theatre box office opens at 6 p.m. Preliminary competitions will take place tonight and tomorrow, and the finals are Saturday.