The 2023 Miss USA costume contest took place on Wednesday in Reno, Nevada.
The contestants walked the runway in outfits that honored their states.
Their costumes included a Maui banyan tree, Florida oranges, and the iconic Route 66.
The Miss USA state costume contest has become one of the most popular events at the legendary beauty pageant.
And this year's 51 contestants brought plenty of drama to the Miss USA stage on Wednesday night as they sported ensembles that were covered in feathers, sparkles, and daring cutouts.
Contestants paid tribute to their states with outfits that included a Maui banyan tree rising from the flames, a Florida orange tree, and the iconic Route 66.
Here are some of the most daring looks from the state costume contest.
Miss Alabama channeled Vulcan, the Roman god of Ironsmiths, for her state costume.
Sophie Burzynski wore a metallic silver bodysuit with matching knee-high boots and a flowing blue cape designed by Matt Logan. She carried an iron hammer, just as Vulcan did, and sported a silver headpiece.
On her Instagram, Burzynski wrote that Alabama was once known as the "Iron City" because it helped fuel the Industrial Revolution. Iron continues to have an important role in the state, including the annual Iron Bowl football game between the University of Alabama and Auburn University.
Burzynski, 22, is currently a pre-dental student at Auburn, where she is double majoring in nutrition science and business management.
Miss Arkansas wore a feathered bodysuit inspired by mallard ducks.
Mackenzie Hinderberger's outfit, which was designed by Stephanie Oelschlaeger of Violets Prom & Pageant, featured green, brown, and black feathers. Hinderberger also wore a feathered neckpiece and carried a staff and backpiece covered in branches and foliage.
Hinderberger included the hashtag #DuckHunting in the caption of her Instagram post showcasing the outfit. According to ducks.org, Arkansas is one of North America's top destinations for ducks and duck hunters.
Hinderberger, 23, graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in elementary education. She currently works as a kindergarten teacher as well as a high-school dance coach.
Miss California's state costume was inspired by her position in the US Army.
Tianna Clark wore a sparkling black bodysuit with gold bullets that draped from each shoulder. The ensemble also featured a flowing camouflage skirt, as well as metallic gold boots and gloves that paid homage to the California gold rush, according to Clark's Instagram. She topped off the outfit with a black beret that matched her bodysuit.
Clark, 28, graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a degree in sociology and a minor in psychology. She is a sergeant in the Army National Guard, currently working as a public relations and marketing manager.
Miss Colorado fluttered her butterfly wings as she walked across the Miss USA stage.
Arianna Lemus' costume was inspired by Colorado's state insect, the hairstreak butterfly. Her outfit featured majestic purple-and-black wings and a sparkling black-and-silver crop top.
According to her Instagram, Lemus also paid homage to Colorado's state flower, the Rocky Mountain Columbine, with her lavender skirt and flowing train.
Lemus, 27, is currently a student at Capella University, where she's studying pre-counseling. She also works as a model, actor, writer, and producer.
Miss Delaware looked fresh as a flower with her bright-pink Miss USA state costume.
Noa Mills' feathered two-piece outfit was inspired by Delaware's state flower, the peach blossom, according to her Instagram page.
The ensemble — which was designed by Blas Simon Villalba Rivas — featured a sparkling lime-green and bright-pink bikini top with matching bottoms, and a backpiece full of pink feathers that fluttered as Mills walked. The pageant queen also wore a towering headpiece that glittered under the stage lights.
Mills, 25, is a partnership implementation specialist and works with healthcare providers across the country to destigmatize substance use recovery.
Miss Florida's freshly squeezed costume paid tribute to her state's official fruit.
Caroline Dixon sported a metallic gold bodysuit with matching knee-high boots, and a backpiece that featured bright oranges hanging from branches covered in green leaves. She also wore a gold headpiece adorned with white flowers.
Dixon, 25, graduated from Florida State University, where she received a degree in media communication studies as well as a Juris Master from the College of Law.
Miss Hawaii's costume paid homage to a 150-year-old banyan tree that was charred during the Maui wildfires.
Savannah Gankiewicz, who won the state costume contest on Wednesday, wore a long-sleeved gold jumpsuit that was completely covered in sparkles.
The bodice featured sparkling flames to go with the yellow-and-orange ombré cape. Gankiewicz also sported a headdress covered in green leaves.
Gankiewicz, 27, currently works as a professional model and entrepreneur. She is the director of "What Makes You Feel Beautiful," a nonprofit based in Maui dedicated to female empowerment.
Miss Idaho took inspiration from her state flower for the Miss USA costume contest.
Hannah Menzner's costume, which was designed by Giselle Boone, was inspired by the syringa flower. She wore a sparkling bodysuit covered in pink, gold, and blue gems, as well as metallic silver ruffles that matched her flowing cape. Menzner's headpiece featured a large sparkling flower with white feathers shooting from the petals.
Menzner wrote on her Instagram that she looks forward to the "syringas blooming across the Idaho mountains" every spring.
The 28-year-old pageant queen is currently pursuing her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of "Glass Ceiling Epiphanies," which shares "real stories from women in business to close the corporate gender leadership gap," according to her Miss USA bio.
Miss Illinois' costume referenced the state's iconic Route 66.
Samantha Elliott wore a black-and-white bodysuit inspired by the Route 66 sign. The ensemble featured a white cape with a map of landmarks on the legendary highway, including Abraham Lincoln sites, pumpkin farms, and Illinois' famous corn.
Elliott, 22, is currently pursuing a master's in accounting and is testing to become a certified public accountant.
Miss Indiana paid tribute to her Native American heritage with her state costume.
Haley Jordan, who is registered with the Cherokee tribe, said it was one of her "greatest honors as a native woman" to showcase her culture "and a literal piece of my heart" on the Miss USA stage.
Her costume — which was designed by Katie Friesenhahn — featured a gold top with red and black beading down the middle and a gold skirt covered in sparkles. Jordan wrote on Instagram that the gold color "represents the sun and assurance" while the red accents are a tribute to her late mother.
Jordan, 25, works as a sports broadcaster and high-school broadcasting teacher, often going straight from class to the ballpark to report on the Indianapolis Indians baseball team, according to her Miss USA bio.
Miss Kansas' cheerful sunflower costume had a special nod to her beauty-queen mother.
Haley Berger wore a bright-yellow sunflower in honor of Kansas' state flower. The ensemble featured a shimmering gold skirt with yellow ruffles at the bottom and a sparkling bodysuit with petals attached to the waist. Berger also wore a towering headpiece with additional petals, and she carried two big green leaves as she walked down the stage.
Berger wrote on Instagram that her costume was also inspired by her mother's state-winning costume, the Hawaiian Hibiscus.
The 22-year-old pageant queen is currently studying for both her doctor of pharmacy and master's in business administration at the University of Kansas.
Miss Louisiana's costume was full of Mardi Gras flair.
Sylvia Masters' state costume was inspired by Louisiana's famous seafood. She wore a sparkling silver jumpsuit with a large headpiece that featured glittering crustaceans, including a lobster and crab, and plenty of bright-red feathers.
Masters, 28, graduated from Nicholls State University. She currently works as a news anchor at KLFY News 10 in Lafayette. She also sings the national anthem at events.
Miss Maryland sparkled in a bright-yellow costume that represented her state's famous black-eyed Susan flowers.
Savena Mushinge wore a two-piece ensemble covered in sparkles and decorated with swirls in pink, blue, and green. Attached to her back was a huge sparkling black-eyed Susan, which has been Maryland's state flower since 1918, while smaller versions of the flower decorated her towering headpiece.
Mushinge, 26, is the first Zambian-American to compete on the Miss USA stage, according to her Miss USA bio. She is a licensed real-estate broker and transaction manager and has served multiple Fortune 500 companies.
Miss Massachusetts channeled her inner captain on the Miss USA stage.
Annika Sharma wrote on Instagram that her costume was borrowed from a former Miss Massachusetts Teen USA sister. The ensemble featured a white bodysuit with a shimmering blue vest and matching hat, as well as a sparkling gold cape that said "Massachusetts" on the back in red lettering.
Sharma, 22, is the first Indian-American Miss Massachusetts USA, according to her Miss USA bio. She graduated from Boston College, where she studied finance, marketing, and philosophy. She currently works as a wealth management analyst at Bank of America.
Read the original article on Insider