JERSEY SHORE - Jersey Shore Town Meeting Inc. kicked off its yearly July 4 celebration with the Queen's Tea, introducing the candidates in the 46th annual Queen Tiadaghton Contest. Also getting underway was voting in the annual Baby Sweetheart Contest.
The tea was held Sunday on the stage at Celebration Field with eight contestants facing the judges' questions and the 2013 Town Crier Spencer Ross doing the honors in escorting each young lady onto the stage.
Dozens of Jersey Shore residents, friends and family turned out in noon day sun to watch the event. Toby Welker, owner of Welker Funeral Home, was master of ceremonies. Judges were Jersey Shore relator Bob Boob, Jersey Shore Middle School physical education teacher Ann Marie Dincher, and Heidi Roupp, the 2004 Queen Tiadaghton who is a freelance sign language interpreter at Penn College.
This year’s contestants hoping to be 2013’s Queen Tiadaghton are, from left to right, Courtney Breon, Jamie Brown, Taylor Koch, Cheyenne Myers, Town Crier Spencer Ross, Amber Fink, Carissa Guthrie, Britney Younkin, Marissa Neese, and center, reigning 2012 Queen Tiadaghton, Alyssa Fink.
After the young women introduced themselves, the judges interviewed each of them separately while the audience had refreshments. Then each contestant was asked two questions on stage in front of the crowd, as the judges listened intently to their answers.
The final vote for this year's Queen will be announced after this year's parade on Wednesday, July 3, at around 8:30 p.m. on the stage at Celebration Field, immediately following the announcement and crowning of this year's Baby Sweethearts. The new Queen will be crowned by 2012 Queen Tiadaghton, Alyssa Fink.
Baby Sweetheart candidates and queen contestants will ride in the parade.
To vote for your favorite Baby Sweetheart candidates, place monetary donations in the cans placed in area businesses. The boy and girl who get the most votes and money will be crowned Baby Sweethearts. The cans will be picked up on July 1.
The Baby Sweetheart contestants and the location of their collection cans follow.
- Mason Lucas, 4, son of Michael L. Lucas Sr. and Megan Lucas - American Legion, Jersey Shore.
- Amareyn Gonzalez, 3, son of Amber Eschbach - The Crest, Jersey Shore.
- Mikaela Rose Leonard, 3, daughter of Katrisha Leonard - IDK, Jersey Shore.
- Kassidy Margaret Simcox, 3, daughter of Angi and Jared Simcox - Woodland Bank, Jersey Shore.
- Tayvian Yothers, 3, daughter of Chez and Heather Yothers - Uni-Mart, Jersey Shore.
- Brennan Brown, 3, son of Matt and Ashlie Brown - Santinos, Jersey Shore.
- Catherine Hill, 3, daughter of Shenan and Ron Hill - Wool's Hardware.
- Christian J. Hughes, 3, Amber Miller andJoseph Hughes - Jersey Shore State Bank, Main Street, Jersey Shore.
- Jeremy Showers, 3, son of Seth and Sacha Showers - Jiffy Market, Jersey Shore.
- Tommy Noonan, 5, son of Ashley and Tom Noonan - Jersey Shore State Bank, Bridge Street, Jersey Shore.
Queen Tiadaghton candidates are Courtney Breon, Jamie Brown, Taylor Koch, Cheyenne Myers, Amber Fink, Carissa Guthrie, Britney Younkin, Marissa Neese.
The Town Meeting Celebration begins on Saturday, June 29 and continues through the following week with a fireworks display concluding the annual event on Saturday evening, July 6.