Nebraska's Miss America exhibit opens in Lincoln

Miss America 2012 Teresa Scanlan and Representative Adrian Smith react to comments by Allen Beerman at opening of Miss America exhibit

Teresa Scanlan made history as the first Nebraskan named Miss America in 2011. Now through Sept. 3, her dresses, shoes and jewelry will be displayed at the Nebraska History Museum.

About 150 people packed the Nebraska History Museum lobby for an exhibit of Nebraska’s Miss America, Friday, March 1, in Lincoln.. Koeppe pulled the color scheme from Scanlan’s dresses, worn during Miss America events, with a patriotic theme and some sparkle, she said.

The exhibit also features a piano and vocal track and display of a Miss America sash and other objects Scanlan made out of duct tape. The dresses also will be displayed at a museum in Scottsbluff, adjacent to Scanlan’s hometown of Gering, Koeppe said.

Special guests led the opening reception, including Sen. John Harms of Scottsbluff, along with Nebraska Reps. Jeff Fortenberry of Lincoln and Adrian Smith of Gering. Smith remembered when Scanlan was crowned, making Gering, the state of Nebraska and America proud as an ambassador on many issues, he said.

Scanlan said the dresses are not just materials, they represent people who touched her life.

Scanlan is a 20-year-old freshman at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., and the exhibit came together when she dropped off boxes on her way to college, Koeppe said. The museum made mannequins from scratch to fit Scanlan’s dress. The mannequins maker, Curt Peacock, retired the day before the event, so this was his last show, Koeppe said.

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