JERSEY SHORE - Festivities continued for Jersey Shore's 52nd annual Town Meeting, as royalty was crowned Thursday.
Before the winners of this year's Baby Sweetheart and Queen Tiadaghton contests were announced, area residents lined the streets as veterans, the Jersey Shore Area High School Marching Band and other community organizations participated in the yearly "Grand Parade."
Once parade goers made their way to the stage area, Kylie Schall, of Salladasburg, and Isac Seasholtz, of Avis, were announced as king and queen of the Baby Sweetheart contest.
PAUL GARRETT/Sun-Gazette Correspondent
2012 Baby Sweetheart winners Kylie Schall, left, and Isac Seasholtz sit together after being crowned Thursday afternoon at the Jersey Shore Town Meeting.
"I'm proud of her. I was pretty nervous," said Tiffany Schall, Kylie's mother.
It turned out that both winners had a family tradition of being in the contest. Both of the 2012 winners' mothers and older siblings participated in the contest previously.
"It was pretty cool because I was in it when I was 5," said Seasholtz's mother, Amber.
There also was some family rivalry, as Seasholtz's cousin, Austin Davidson, was in the final four this year.
Sallie Dershem, master of ceremonies, explained that any 3- to 5-year-old can enter the contest. Cans for each participant are put in local businesses and they receive one vote for each penny and 110 votes for each dollar bill.
The money collected benefits charities.
"We've helped fire victims. We've helped four cancer victims this past year," Dershem said. "All our money goes to charity."
Dershem said she believes most of the contestants participate because of their parents but added that "some of the kids are into it."
But the big news came as the night was capped with crowning of the 2012 Queen Tiadaghton.
Two locals vied for the honor of holding the title. Alyssa Fink, daughter of Mark and Deanna Fink, was given the honor over 16-year old Elasha Brown.
"(I was thinking) mostly that both of us were winners and it doesn't matter who wins as long as we both do something to help the community," Fink said when the announcement was made.
In order to earn the title, Fink had to go through an application process and three rounds of interviews so judges could get to know the candidates better.
She said some of the hardest questions asked were about the symbols of the community because there were so many good examples.
As the new queen, Fink is required to participate in festivals, parades and other events. But the aspect of the job she is looking forward to the most is being an example for others.
"I'm the role model of the community now," Fink said.
Fink is a freshman at Penn State Altoona where she is studying biology and mortuary science. She hopes to one day become the county coroner.
Sarah Eck, the 2011 Queen Tiadaghton, was on hand to pass the title over. She said the moment was "very bittersweet."
"You're excited for the new queen ... but at the same time it's very fun to be the queen and to be the example."
Fink's father said he was "ecstatic" with his daughter winning.
"It's great experience," Mark Fink said. "She's a good girl."
Deanna Fink, Alyssa's mother, was "surprised" and hopes the event will grow in the coming years.
"I hope that next year there are more participants," she said.