More than 200 of America’s sharpest young spellers are gathering at National Harbor in Maryland for Scripps’ annual spelling bee, a competition in its 95th year.
Kids ages 9 through 14 have been competing in qualifying rounds across all 50 states of the country, plus international spellers from Guam, Germany, and Canada.
Vihaan Kapil, a 9-year-old from Arden Hills, Minnesota, is the youngest of this year's contestants, while there are 73 spellers who are 14 years old.
While they'll face the national rounds over the next three days, the national competition is really a weeklong celebration for kids and families, as the opening ceremony starts Monday night and the finale is not until Thursday, with media coverage of the winner on Friday.
231 spellers are competing this year, and nearly 80% of those are competing for the first time in the national championship.
Preliminaries start Tuesday at 9 a.m. The competition can be watched on Scripps News sister networks ION Plus and ION TV.
Scripps News is a subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Co., which runs the Scripps National Spelling Bee on a not-for-profit basis.
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