MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — For the first time, Miss West Virginia will be crowned in the Eastern Panhandle.

The 75th Miss West Virginia Pageant moved to Martinsburg this year after previously being held in Morgantown. It will be held in the recently-opened Airborne Event Center off of Rock Cliff Drive.

In addition to the traditional pageant competition Friday and Saturday nights, the “Queens on Queen Street” parade will be held downtown Martinsburg Saturday morning.

The parade’s Grand Marshall will be Miss West Virginia 1956 and Martinsburg resident Carolyn Miller.

View the parade route, parking changes and street closures here.

Miss West Virginia 2018 Madeline Collins spoke to MetroNews affiliates WEPM & WCST: The Panhandle News Network on Friday. She was excited to help mentor the new Miss West Virginia, but said the pageant looks much different this year compared to last year when she competed.

“It’s a little unworldly because I’m eating and I’m chilling and that’s not something I’m quite used to,” Collins said smiling. “These young women are getting ready for the job and competing for Miss West Virginia. Mentally I think they’re just preparing themselves for the competition and what that means for them. Then ultimately, we’ll crown a new Miss West Virginia.”

21 candidates will compete Friday and Saturday night on the Airborne Event Center stage. The winner will represent the Mountain State at the Miss America Competition.

Madeline Collins

Miss West Virginia’s Outstanding Teen will compete at America’s Outstanding Teen.

Miss America will be held in Atlantic City, New Jersey September 5-7 while America’s Oustanding Teen will be July 27 in Orlando, Florida.

“The special thing about Miss West Virginia is every year she’s a different woman,” said Collins when asked what advice she’d give to her successor. “She comes from a different part of our state with a different personality, different goals and missions. So I think it is so important for her to truly sit in herself. Be her authentic self and bring whatever she wants to this title because it’s going to be different every year no matter who she is or where she’s from.”

Collins holds a bachelors degree from West Virginia University in Child Development and Family Studies. She will attend Columbia University in New York this fall to pursue a Masters of Social Work.

“That was my last radio interview as Miss West Virginia,” Collins realized as she left the Panhandle News Network studios.

Follow this weekend’s pageant on theĀ Miss West Virginia Organization’s Facebook page.

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