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National Spelling Bee to return in mostly virtual format

National Spelling Bee

(AP) -- The Scripps National Spelling Bee will return this year in a mostly virtual format.

Last year's bee was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was the first year without the contest since World War II.

This year's bee will conclude on July 8 with an in-person competition between the top dozen or so spellers on an ESPN campus at Walt Disney World in Florida.

The rest of the bee will be contested online. The bee has been held for decades in the Washington area around Memorial Day. Organizers say they don't think a large gathering will be possible this year at the competition's usual venue.

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Associated Press

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