GALLERY: Cranston's Olivia Culpo Prepares for Miss Universe Pageant

Cranston native Olivia Culpo — also known as Miss USA — is busy rehearsing and participating in pre-pageant events in Las Vegas this week in the lead up to Wednesday's Miss Universe competition.

A Cranston girl could soon be Miss Universe.

Cranston and the rest of Rhode Island watched Oliva Culpo rise to the top of the Miss USA pageant in June, taking the title home to Rhode Island for the first time.

On Wedesday (Dec. 19) she'll compete for the title of Miss Universe.

The pageant begins its live telecast at 8 p.m. on NBC and Telemundo.

All week, contestants from around the world have been rehearsing and participating in pre-pageant events at the Planet Hollywood Resort Casino in Las Vegas. 

Click through photos of Culpo during rehearsals, a costume show, a gift auction, an event with the Cure 4 the Kids Foundation and more.

Though Culpo has been schmoozing with celebrities and traveling around the country since taking the Miss USA crown, she said earlier this year that she "will always be your Cranston hometown girl."

Culpo, 20, has paused her studies at Boston University to focus on her responsibilities as Miss USA. At BU, she was an honor student and an accomplished cellist.

She grew up in "musically rich surroundings." Her parents, Peter and Susan, began their professional lives as musicians. That led her to picking up the cello. 

She went on to participate in the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, RI Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble, Bay View Orchestra and Rhode Island All-State Orchestra. As a cellist, Olivia won a seat in the Boston Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall in New York City, and a tour of England in 2010. She was accepted into an intensive summer music program at the Brevard Music Center, in North Carolina for two summers. She continues to perform with the Boston University Accompanietta.

As a high school student, she loved Italian and she had the chance to attend two foreign language programs in Milan, Italy. 

IN an interview with RetroRI.com, Culpo said she loves Twin Oaks chicken parm and Iggy's clamcakes and chowder. Twin Oaks is her all time favorite.

"Between the great food and friendly atmosphere, I really don’t think it can be beat. The chicken Parmesan is so yummy! The baked-stuffed shrimp is also delicious!" she told RetroRI.com

Click HERE for our photo gallery of Oliva Culpo at the Miss USA pageant earlier this year.

Click HERE for our coverage of the city's ceremony honoring Culpo during which she was handed a key to the city by Mayor Allan W. Fung. Includes video.


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