HOT SPRINGS, S.D. (AP) — More than 40 past winners of the Miss South Dakota pageant will gather at two monuments in western South Dakota, as part of the event's 70th anniversary celebration.

The group of Miss South Dakotans on Friday will visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the Crazy Horse Memorial. They then will return to Hot Springs to be featured in the second night of this year's preliminary competition.

Seventeen women from around the state are competing for this year's title. The competition got underway Thursday and was to conclude Saturday with 2015 winner Miss Oahe Autumn Simunek handing off the crown.

Simunek, of Hot Springs, represented South Dakota in the Miss America Pageant last September in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and has spent the year advocating for military families and veterans.

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