By MADDY VITALE, OCNJDAILY
The DiAntonio sisters of Sea Isle City are definitely on a hot streak when it comes to winning pageants in Ocean City. Antonella wowed the audience at the Music Pier by winning Little Miss Ocean City in 2021. Her little sister, Arianna, followed suit the following year by winning the same pageant.
Antonella placed the crown on Arianna’s head at that time.
And when Friday night came, Arianna said farewell to her Little Miss reign. Like her sister, she captivated the audience with her dance numbers during the pageant and then when it was time, she turned her crown over to the 2023 pageant winner, Lyla Clark.
So, for just one day the sisters did not wear crowns. But on Saturday night, Antonella became Junior Miss Ocean City 2023. First runner-up was Sarah Smith, of Ocean City, and second runner-up was Isabella Papandrew.
Antonella, 14, is going into her freshman year at Ocean City High School.
On Monday, she said a few words about what the win means to her.
“I am so honored to be able to pass on such an amazing tradition again this year. I am really looking forward to a year of the events ahead,” Antonella said. “I am definitely over the moon with excitement, and I feel that I get so much experience from representing Ocean City.”
Pageant winners serve as ambassadors for the city. They attend the iconic Ocean City events, including parades and other promotional events for the town.
Arianna, 12, who is entering seventh grade at Ocean City Intermediate School in the fall, said she loves watching her “older sister achieve such amazing accomplishments.”
“I am so proud to experience these milestones together,” Arianna said. “I admire how she puts her all into this and she is going to be Junior Miss Ocean City for 2023.”
Parents Angelina and Anthony DiAntonio are accustomed to the accolades, awards, honors and achievements bestowed upon their daughters for their talents.
So, Saturday night, 24 hours after the DiAntonios spent the night watching their daughters onstage at the Ocean City Music Pier showcasing their talents in one pageant, they were back watching one of them being crowned in another pageant.
“I love watching my daughters train to be the best that they could be in every aspect of their life, especially in their education, dance, and with the community,” Angelina said. “I love Antonella’s determination and the passion that she always puts in when achieving her goals.”
Anthony said he is “extremely proud of my daughter, Antonella,” and her work ethic.
“You can tell how hard she works, and I love being able to be a part of the experience,” he noted. “Watching them grow and have new opportunities open up is a gift.”
The other contestants for Junior Miss Ocean City 2023 were Brooke DeLanzo, Paloma Chevere, Gia Ermilio and Holly Aiken.
The contestants received prizes and gifts from local sponsors in the city-hosted pageant. City employee Samantha Heckler organizes the pageant as well as the Miss Ocean City pageant.
Here is the list of awards:
Ad Sales Award: Sarah Smith
Hostess Award: Paloma Chevere
Photogenic Award: Isabella Papandrew
Evelyn Reed Spirit Award: Holly Aiken
Congeniality Award: Gia Ermilio
Community Involvement Award: Antonella DiAntonio
Scholastic Award: Antonella DiAntonio
Poise and Composure (Gown) Award: Antonella DiAntonio
On-Stage Question Award: Antonella DiAntonio
Interview Award: Antonella DiAntonio
Talent Award: Antonella DiAntonio