The Miss Louisiana pageant is underway in Monroe as 36 contestants take the stage tonight.

Tonight is the second of three nights of competition for the 2012 crown. Miss Louisiana 2011 Hope Anderson will be passing her tiara at the main event Saturday night at 8 PM at the Monroe Civic Center.

The Miss Talent Contest was won by Miss Lafayette Mallory Cox. Miss Louisiana Tech Lauren Vizza took physical fitness honors in the first day of preliminary competition held Thursday at the W.L. "Jack" Howard Theatre in Monroe.

Thirty-six women are competing in this year’s pageant in hopes of winning the Miss Louisiana 2012 crown Saturday night and represent the state in the Miss America Pageant.

Competition continues on Friday at 7:30 PM with the second round of preliminaries. The contestants will switch categories with those in Thursday’s talent contest. They will be wearing swimsuits and evening gowns, and those who competed in swimsuit and evening wear the night before will perform their talents for the panel of five judges and answer a question on stage.

At the beginning of the final night, the field will be narrowed to the Top 10 finalists.