BY MADDY VITALE
There was a whole lot of adorable on the boards Thursday for the 112th annual Ocean City Baby Parade.
Babies dressed as ballerinas, as peacocks and even one in a miniature “Top Gun” fighter jet took center stage as hundreds of spectators lined the Boardwalk.
People marveled at the cute sights and took pictures.
Children from infants up to age 10 cruised along in themed strollers, floats, wagons and even toy cars.
Dana Heck, of Cherry Hill, brought her 9-month-old daughter, Savannah, dressed as a cupcake in a brightly covered wagon. Heck said the history of the parade makes being in it all the more special.
“We had fun prepping for the parade,” Heck said, as she pulled Savannah’s wagon.
Heck’s mother, Darlene Aaron, of Ocean City, walked beside her.
“I love it. But it is the fact that it is 112 years that is so amazing. It is fun being a part of it,” Heck added.
Heck and her family were among many families who joined in the parade.
The procession started at Sixth Street and finished at 12th Street for the children entered in the parade. Marching bands, Ocean City beauty pageant winners and others in the parade finished at 14th Street.
In addition to the array of themed Baby Parade entries, participants included: Ed Coles Entertainers, the Fred Hall Orchestra, the Absegami High School Marching Band, newly crowned Queen Infanta Maura Dougherty, local dignitaries, businesses and organizations.
There were also floats for current crown holders and contestants for upcoming Ocean City pageants.
Robin Vitale, of Woodbridge, N.J., and her daughters Alex, 4, and Ella, 2, were dressed as peacocks.
“I grew up coming to Ocean City,” Vitale said. “We are in the parade every year since Alex was born and love it.”
While some families may have purchased their kids’ costumes and decorations from stores or made them, sisters Arabella Czabator, 3, and Juliet Czabator, 7, of Downingtown, Pa., dressed as ballerinas with some help from their home décor, thanks to their parents, Jessica and Mike Czabator.
“We thought we could bring our home to a float,” joked Jessica, who, like Mike, was also dressed as a ballerina.
Paula White, of Collegeville, Pa., gave her 22-month-old granddaughter, Delaney Lesczynski, also of Collegeville, her very own “horse” in a float called “Carousel Cutie.”
While awards are given out each year, White said it is a family tradition.
She and her daughter were part of the parade for many years. Now that her daughter is grown, White takes her granddaughter.
“We enjoy keeping the tradition going,” she said.
Each child received a memento at 12th Street for participating in the parade. Awards were given out when they completed the parade at 12th Street.
Award winners are as follows:
Names: Arabella Czabator & Juliet Czabator
Theme: The OC Ballerina Sisters!
Names: Parker Young
Theme: Return to Mr. McGregor’s Garden
Names: Elizabeth Fox, Bradley Trinkner & Jackson Fox
Theme: Cruella DeVil
Names: Rhys Berry
Names: Elliot Tate Sullivan
Theme: Elliot the Milkman
Most Outstanding Twins or Triplets
Names: Joseph & Jayson Petrini
Theme: Life is Sweet in OC!
Greatest Distance Traveled
Names: Anna Evelyn Koffler
Theme: Southwest Sweetie Anna
From: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Division A Section 100 Winner
Names: Paula White
Theme: Carousel Cutie
Division A Section 100 Runner Up
Names: Cecelia Carey
Theme: Celebrating 70 Years & 5 Generations in OC!
Division A Section 200 Winner
Names: Grace Jean Labriola
Theme: Grace’s Ice Cream
Division A Section 200 Runner Up
Names: Ella Vitale & Alex Vitale
Theme: In a world of Ducks, be a Peacock
Division A Section 300 Winner
Names: Delia Beyer, Jonas Beyer & Quentin Beyer
Theme: Pirate Ship
Division A Section 300 Runner Up
Names: Tierney Rose Kane & Liam Patrick Kane
Theme: The Belle and Beau of Ocean City
Division B Section 400 Winner
Names: Taylorann Jane Larsen
Theme: Meet the Flintstones
Division B Section 400 Runner Up
Names: Lainey Graham
Theme: Chicago Style Hot Dog
Division B Section 500 Winner
Names: Joseph Petrini, Jayson Patrini, Quincy Long & Madelyn Long
Theme: Life is Sweet in OC
Division B Section 500 Runner Up
Names: Gianna Every
Theme: Roaring ’20s
Division B Section 600 Winner
Names: Fiona McMaster, Isaiah McMaster & Amelia McMaster
Theme: Aloha From Pennsylvania
Division B Section 600 Runner Up
Names: Asher Smith & Gage Smith
Theme: Goose & Maverick Fly By OC!
Division C Winner
Names: Owen Bowker
Division C Runner Ups
Names: Jackson Van Richards & Gracie May Richards
Theme: Thomas The Tank Engine
Names: Luca Chielewski
Theme: Herme The Crab
Best Float: Minions of Ocean City
Best Musical Act: Ocean City Stompers Band