Little Miss Ocean City crowned

Lyla Clark, 11, of Ocean City, takes her first walk as the new little Miss Ocean City 2023.

By MADDY VITALE

After placing first runner-up in last year’s Little Miss Ocean City pageant, it was time for Lyla Clark to shine on Friday night when she became the crown holder in front of a packed crowd at the Music Pier.

Lyla, 11, from Ocean City, wowed the judges with her powerful dance routine to “Gorgeous”, becoming the queen of the 2023 pageant out of 16 contestants.

“It’s amazing,” Lyla said backstage with her family and friends, including other contest winners, around her. “I’m thrilled and excited for this year and all the events.”

Lyla Clark wows the judges with a dance routine to “Gorgeous.”

The candidates, aged 8 to 11, were judged on balance, talent, interviews and academic performance. They danced, sang and there were even a few comedians and a magician.

The first runner-up was Harper Juelg, 8, the second runner-up was Stella Fleming, 9, the third runner-up was Francesca Schaffer, 11, and the fourth runner-up was Sophia Neal, 11.

Other competitors included Meadow Ottinger, Quinn Dorr, Lynnie Becker, Kippin Halliday, Mila Delanzo, Lucia Schaffer, Alice Bickings, Rose Bickings, Alexa Rosetti, Nora Dinsmore and Giselle Ardelean.

The opening act, “I Don’t Dance,” gave the audience an action-packed spectacle. The theme was baseball inspired and the contestants came out in their baseball uniforms.

He also brought sister act 2022 Little Miss Ocean City Arianna DiAntonio and 2021 Little Miss Ocean City Antonella DiAntonio, who live in Sea Isle City, on stage to the excitement of the crowd as they danced, flipped and twirled before the 16 contestants joined them on stage for the act.

Little Miss Ocean City 2023 Lyla Clark with her court, left to right, Sophia Neal, fourth runner-up, Stella Fleming, third runner-up, Harper Juelg, first runner-up, and Francesca Schaffer, second runner-up.

Winning contestants received prizes and gifts from local sponsors in addition to cash.

Lyla, who is entering seventh grade at Ocean City Middle School, received the judge’s awards for her composure, talent and maintenance.

The new Little Miss isn’t just a dancer, but she’s a competitive cheerleader for All Star One, a cheerleading academy in Egg Harbor Township.

During the nearly three-hour show, there were also other performances from Arianna DiAntonio and the other pageant queens.

In addition to the performance with her sister, Antonella, Arianna performed a solo dance routine and then paraded for the last time as Little Miss with tears in her eyes.

Sea Isle City and Little Miss Ocean City 2021 and 2022 sisters Antonella and Arianna DiAntonio begin the opening act.

To bid farewell to Arianna’s reign as Little Miss, she and her “heiress sister” Miss Ocean City 2022 Maddyn Randazzo danced as Junior Miss Ocean City 2022 Makenna Fleming sang “Uptown Girl.”

Audiences watched a video that captured some of the memories Arianna said she would carry with her forever. They were of her and her other reigning queens at events and activities held throughout the city throughout the year.

Parades, Wacky Wednesdays and other wacky events brought tears, laughter and smiles from the outgoing Queen as she sat with Maddyn and Makenna on stage.

Miss Ocean City Grace Oves taps on “Great Balls of Fire”.

New Miss Ocean City 2023 Grace Oves also performed. She did a tap routine on Jerry Lee Lewis’ 1957 hit, “Great Balls of Fire,” to the excitement of the audience.

During the ceremony, Michael Allegretto, Assistant to Mayor Jay Gillian, presented Arianna with a key to the city, a beach towel and other farewell gifts on behalf of the city to show his appreciation for her service to the city. a year as a city ambassador.

The contest was moderated by Natalie Ragazzo of Ocean City. Ragazzo, the 2008 Little Miss Ocean City, is currently the reigning Miss New Jersey Volunteer.

Lyla with her parents, Sara and Ray Clark and her sister, Faelyn.

Backstage after the show, Lyla was joined by her parents, Sara and Ray Clark, and her big sister, Faelyn.

“It’s his big dream,” Sara said. “She worked so hard.”

Ray, a captain with the Ocean City Fire Department, said, “This event is so amazing. Lyla really had fun.

Faelyn, 13, said of her little sister: “We are so proud of her. She grew up before our eyes.

The new pageant queen said she is looking forward to a busy year as Little Miss Ocean City.

The quiet part of the competition with Lyla winning the category.

Lyla will join a new Junior Miss Ocean City who will be crowned Saturday night, and Miss Ocean City 2023 Grace Oves, of Ocean City, crowned August 13, for Ocean City’s signature events, including parades and other events promotions for the city. .

The Little Miss Ocean City pageant has been sponsored by the city’s recreation department for 32 years. City worker Kristie Fenton has been running the Little Miss pageant for years.

Here are the Friday night awards: The names of the winners are above the categories.

Petite Miss Ocean City 2023 Lyla Clark

talent winner

Interview Winner

Gaining poise and composure

School recognition

Essay Award – First Runner Up

Harper Juelg – Ocean City

First runner-up

Mini Golf Prize – 2nd Place

Stella Fleming – Ocean City

Second runner-up

Miss Conviviality

Essay Award – Second Runner Up

Francesca Schaffer – Ocean City

Third runner-up

Sophia Neal – Ocean City

Fourth runner-up

Alice Bickings – Ocean City

School winner

Recognition of interviews

Hostess Award

Lucia Schaffer – Ocean City

Talent recognition

Nora Dinsmore – Ocean City

Recognition of balance and composure

Bowfish Kids Originality Award

Essay Award – Third Runner Up

Quinn Dorr – Ocean City

Tracy White Spirit Award

Lynnie Becker – Ocean City

Miss Photogenic

Kippin Halliday – Ocean City

The price of compassion, kindness and sincerity

Meadow Ottinger – Philadelphia

Trial Prize – Winner

Lucia Schaffer – Ocean City

Mini Golf Awards – 1st Place

Giselle Ardelean – Ocean City

Mini Golf Prize – 3rd Place

First runner-up Harper Juelg performs a patriotic song in American Sign Language.
Francesca Schaffer, third runner-up, dances to “Big Noise.”
Sophia Neal, fourth runner-up, is elegant in her pose for the competition.
Faelyn Clark and Lyla take a selfie.
Miss Ocean City 2022 Maddyn Randazzo and Little Miss for 2022 Arianna DiAntonio dance to “Uptown Girl.”
Lyla Clark receives an award from Little Miss Arianna DiAntonio.
Junior Miss Ocean City 2022 Makenna Fleming with new Miss Ocean City Grace Oves backstage.
Miss New Jersey volunteer Natalie Ragazzo jokes with the audience.
The opening act is “I don’t dance”.

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