By MADDY VITALE
Mary Grace Jamison was crowned Miss Ocean City 2020 on Saturday night during the annual pageant at the Music Pier.
Jamison, 17, of Ocean City, an Ocean City High School senior in the fall, beat out 10 other contestants to capture the title.
Other contestants who impressed the judges were first runner-up Paige Aita, 18, second runner-up, Sophia Terry, 18, and third runner-up Cassidy Diamond.
Video Courtesy Just Right TV Productions
There were 11 contestants in all for Miss Ocean City. The contestants each competed in talent, swimwear, evening gowns and an on-stage question.
The talent consisted of strong performances in tap, vocals and dance.
The theme of this year’s pageant was country and the opening dance act was to Luke Bryan’s song “Country Girls,” which wowed the crowd. Miss Ocean City 2019 Megan Keenan led the contestants in a boot-stomping lively performance.
Jamison’s talent had a particularly poignant meaning for the dancer.
She suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and gave up dancing from 2016 until November of 2018.
To be able to do what she loves once again, and to do it well, she said, is so fulfilling.
Jamison spoke backstage, with her mom, Jennifer, and father, Michael, and friends and family celebrating her crowning. She had tears in her eyes.
“I am so amazed. I feel so proud and so happy,” she said.
Her parents felt the same. “I am just overjoyed for her,” Michael Jamison said.
“She worked so hard,” Jennifer Jamison said, adding that her daughter had joined the Ocean City High School Dance Team.
During her on-stage question, Jamison spoke about how it is important, when you have a debilitating ailment, not to let it get you down, to continue to strive to achieve your goals even when battling an ailment.
“The best is yet to come,” she said.
Jamison’s interview with the judges also won her an award.
She created something called Promise Parlor, in which she and other volunteers at the high school do hair and makeup for students going to the prom who may not be able to afford getting glammed up.
While Jamison was struggling with her arthritis and could not dance, she still wanted to do something positive, so she created Promise Parlor.
And she plans on it being just as successful this coming spring as the last.
The pageant festivities also featured honors for outgoing Miss Ocean City 2019 Megan Keenan.
Pageant Director Michael Hartman, the city’s special events coordinator, presented a piece of the Boardwalk to her.
With tears in his eyes, Hartman told Keenan that she has a gift for making people feel special, especially children, and she will be missed.
Keenan took center stage to perform her tap dance to James Brown’s “Get Up Offa That Thing,” a performance that helped her gain the crown the year before.
Keenan attended more than 70 events during her reign.
In a video retrospective of her yearlong reign shown to the Music Pier audience, she thanked all of the people who helped her along the way, from her parents to Hartman to her fellow crown holders, among others.
Keenan said wonderful memories were created with Junior Miss Ocean City Julia Wilson and Little Miss Ocean City Stevie Wright.
Miss Ocean City serves as an ambassador for Ocean City at iconic traditions such as Night in Venice, Pamper Scamper, the Baby Parade, Wacky Wednesdays and other activities.