DALLAS -- When you enter the Hooters in the West End in downtown Dallas, it feels massive compared to the other locations in DFW. Perhaps that is because it's downtown and mere steps from the American Airlines Center, or maybe because it is literally the world's largest Hooters.
The winner of the DFW Central Regional swimsuit pageant here earned a coveted spot in the 17th Annual Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant in Las Vegas. The Texas Hooters restaurants are separated into six regions, with each sending its winners to Vegas, and on this evening, the ladies were representing the Grapevine, Lewisville, Denton and West End locations.
When we visited the Hooters DFW West Regional swimsuit pageant the event took place in a party tent constructed adjacent to the Fort Worth location on Southwest Blvd. At the world's largest Hooters, they simply curtained off the two-leveled left half of the restaurant as an exclusive VIP section where fans got to meet UFC fighter Diego Sanchez and watch the contest. The ladies began upstairs and made their way across the top section and down the staircase that led onto the runway connecting to the judge's table.
Speaking of the judge's table, it included Karen and Jamie from Sweet Revenge Bikinis, Bryan McNeal USMC (Ret) and yours truly. The 12 ladies began the evening in costume with a "Daisy Duke" theme of short shirts and shorter jeans shorts, followed by cocktail dresses and bikinis. Several of the ladies had their own cheering sections, with fans holding up signs supporting their favorite Hooters girl.
Each local and regional pageant is aligned with the Hooters for Heroes military fund-raising campaign. This night also featured an auction that benefited the Wounded Warrior fund.
After the swimsuit portion, five finalists were selected, and then three. Former Hooters calendar girl Kody Matthews from the West End restaurant took second runner-up in the contest and was also named Miss Sweet Revenge, giving her the opportunity for photo shoots and to represent the brand in the DFW area.
The big winner of the night was Bethany Jones from the Hooters in Lewisville. She has never been to Las Vegas but will be on her way to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for the Miss Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant on June 27. The other representatives from DFW that are heading to Vegas are Kris Dodge from the Plano store, who won the contest in Plano, and Taylor Wachel from North Richland Hills, the winner from the contest in Fort Worth.
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