Asheville, North Carolina
A Miss America Preliminary Competition swimsuit winner, Maria, representing North Carolina went on to become Miss America. Prior to competition, Maria was a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Recently, former Miss Americas were asked to recall an embarrassing moment they could share with our readers. In Maria's case, she recalled wearing her Miss America gown (complete with hoop) on the Miss America Float at the Orange Bowl Parade. Unbeknownst to her, the gown was on fire. A good Samaritan jumped on the float, and extinguished the blaze, saving both Maria and her gown--all before she realized there was a fire!