Zoe Salmon was among former winners of Miss Northern Ireland to join event organiser Alison Clarke in launching the 2014 contest aboard Belfast's SS Nomadic.
The contest, which is now in its 28th year, organised by ACA Models, will see hundreds of young ladies compete for the coveted Open + Direct Miss Northern Ireland title in a series of heats that will take place in venues across the province this spring, starting on February 27 at 21 Social, Belfast and finishing on April 27 at Betty Blacks, Bangor.
The grand finale will take place on May 12 at the Europa Hotel, Belfast. The glittering event will be hosted by former Miss Northern Ireland and television presenter Zoe Salmon and UTV’s Marc Mallett.
Contest organiser Alison Clarke welcomed 2014 hopefuls and former winners to the launch.
She said: "Our contest is all about finding talented young women, who will be judged not only on their appearance but also on their presence, self expression, intelligence and poise.
"We were overwhelmed by the number and calibre of the girls who graced our contest last year and as such, we have introduced an extra heat to accommodate them.
"The winner will become an ambassador for Northern Ireland at events far and wide during 2014, so it’s vital they have a great personality too."
Current title holder Meagan Green said she was having the best year of her life: "The title has given me the chance to travel as far as Indonesia to take part in the Miss World contest and meet people I wouldn’t have otherwise met. The contest is a great opportunity for local girls to network, meet new people and gain confidence."
The winner picks up a stellar prize package, which includes a modeling contract with ACA Models, a Kia car from Downey’s taxed and insured for a year by Open + Direct and an all expenses paid trip to the Miss World Competition in London.
The competition is open to women aged between 17 and 24 years old.