Bikini Contests involve a mythology, occasional surprise, and weariness
The mythical Bikini Contest, the one of all men's dreams involves college students at Spring Break parading, stripping to bikinis, dancing, getting squirted with water, and then stripping topless or mooning in order to win. This theme is found in movies, men's magazines (PB8301), and first person accounts (FL8410).
In practice most Bikini Contests remain "street legal" and contestants are disqualified for indiscreet exposures. Exceptions are found at biker parties and the occasional venue where nudity is either permitted or is the rule.
Bikini contests can occur anywhere and have a multitude of disguises.
At the South Street Seaport in the heart of New York City's financial district posters advertise a Bikini Contest (NYC8500) and a Wet T-shirt affair (NYC8501Y). Contestants wear the latest bikinis (NYC8501) or get their shirts doused (NYC8502, NYC8502B) so they may display nipples in see-through-when-wet.
Sometimes contests are sponsored by bikini manufactures, like this contest sponsored by Gotcha in Hawaii, (GO8801). Here v-kini struggles against emerging tanga.
Sometimes they involve athletic competitions by bikiniites, with the "beauty pageant" aspect eluded. A drinking contest at Club Med perhaps. Other times the participants appear to be strippers whose costumes resemble bikinis (PT9210).
Some would argue that all Bikini Beaches feature a bikini contest continuously, and some would argue that all the contestants are winners.
Some Specific Venues Detailed
Two of the longest-running Bikini Contests are located in Florida, at The Candy Store in Ft. Lauderdale, and at Coconuts in Cocoa Beach.
The Candy Store is the subject of Spring Break lore (PB8301, FL8410). It holds a daily contest every afternoon and pays prizes. Contestants are a mix of tourists, locals, and circuit players from up and down the coast, as on a sunny afternoon in February 1986 (FL8603, FL8604, FL8605, FL8606, FL8607, FL8608, FL8609). You'll have to see if you can pick out the winner.
Data also exists for an October day the following year, but in Florida in the late 1980s, buttage rules.
Up the coast at Cocoa Beach there are two bikini contests each Saturday, one at the Cocoa Beach Pier and other, later in the day, at a watering hole called Coconuts (CB9371, CB9372, CB9373, CB9375, CB9376, CB9377, CB9378, CB9379). Some of the watchers qualify to be in the contest (CB9360)! These capture the spirit of the early 1990s, and feature custom-made mirco bikinis and maillot tangas.
Another snapshot, from the 2005-2010 period and also from Florida, demonstrate that small bikinis remain necessary to remain competitive (SQA670, SQA671). And that unusual silhouettes get special attention (EXB0GK).
The Wild Side
The big sister of the Bikini Contest is the Ms. Nude Contest (NC199150) and other events that go beyond Bikini Science, like tattoo (H8548-56) and stripper contests at biker parties, flashing for beads, and other fun times.