By MADDY VITALE
Arianna and Antonella DiAntonio share a lot of things. They both live in Sea Isle. They both attend the Ocean City Intermediate School. They both won the last two Little Miss Ocean City pageants.
And they made history.
“It was exciting because we actually had a sister crown a sister as her successor,” Michael Allegretto, aide to Mayor Jay Gillian, said. “That was fun for everyone to watch Arianna’s older sister Antonella crown her.”
On Aug. 20, 13 contestants vied for the title of Little Miss Ocean City. The contestants, ages 8 to 11, were judged on poise, talent, interview and scholastics. The pageant is open to Ocean City residents, property owners, and students from the school sending districts, which include Sea Isle City.
Arianna won the talent portion of the pageant for her dance performance, which she also won in 2019, when her big sister was crowned Little Miss.
A week after the history-making crowning at the Ocean City Music Pier, the family spoke to OCNJDaily.com about what it was like to secure a memorable place in the city’s pageant history, and what it was like for them the night of the monumental crowning.
“I am so beyond excited to have received this title,” Arianna, 11, who will be entering the sixth grade on Sept. 7, said.
She described her experience.
“Everything about the night that I was crowned was so over-the-top. It was magical,” she said.
Antonella, who will be going into the eighth grade, served as Little Miss Ocean City for not just one year, but two, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said she was ecstatic for her little sister.
“I am extremely proud of my little sister, along with all of the other contestants,” she noted. “To turn the crown over to my sister was amazing.
She acknowledged that she will miss her reign as Little Miss.
“I had such a blast representing this town over the past two years,” Antonella said. “I am of course sad to see it’s over.”
For the girls’ parents, Angelina and Anthony DiAntonio, Aug. 20 was another glorious night of watching their talented daughters both performing and won winning the Little Miss pageant.
And in this case it secured a place as a history-making moment.
“We are so excited. This is so wonderful because it is the first time in the history of Little Miss Ocean City that a sister crowned sister,” Angelina emphasized. “It’s the best feeling in the world. We will forever be so appreciative.”
Other contestants, who won portions of the pageant, were as follows; first runner-up went to Lyla Clark; second runner-up was Gia Ermilio. The third runner-up was Stella Fleming and the fourth runner-up was Sarah Smith.
The other pageant winners for 2022 were Miss Ocean City Maddyn Randazzo. She was crowned on Aug. 14 and Junior Miss Ocean City went to Makenna Fleming, who took the title on Aug. 21.
Both Maddyn, 19, a sophomore in college, and Makenna, 14, who will be a freshman at Ocean City High School, entered the pageants over the past several years.
The end result was that hard work and determination paid off, Allegretto explained.
“It was great to be able to hold the pageants again,” Allegretto said, noting that with the pandemic the pageants were canceled in 2020. “The three outgoing queens did a great job for the extended period and it is always great to crown our new queens for 2022.”
Maddyn Randazzo participated in the pageants securing spots in the court for seven years, before capturing the top title.
“It is a confidence builder. We were especially proud because she won the interview, talent and the academic essay awards. It was a trifecta for Maddyn,” her mother, Jeniene, said in an interview with OCNJDaily.com.
Maddyn is studying aviation management at the University of Ohio. She is also getting her private pilot’s license. She grew up in Pennsylvania and her family has a vacation home in Ocean City.
When she won Miss Ocean City, her mom said she repeated something over and over.
“She kept saying, ‘I’m over the moon and ‘I’ll be smiling all year,’” Jeniene noted.
Like Maddyn, Makenna Fleming competed several times in the pageants. Persistence paid off for her when she took the crown becoming Junior Miss Ocean City 2022.
“The two queens finally got their chance to win,” Allegretto noted of Maddyn and Makenna.
He added that Arianna, Maddyn and Makenna will be wonderful queens.
“We look forward to the newly crowned girls at all of our events throughout the year,” he added. “I know they will do a great job.”