Story & Photographs by Diane Fleischman

The Welcome Fall pageant, presented by The Road to Broadway Pageant, was held last Sunday at Rascal Food and Fun in Allentown.  Each contestant with their parents checked in as early as 8am to prepare for the day long event. 

The contestants ranged from 8 months old to 15 years old, with both boys and girls in this event.  The morning categories included an interview, personality, party wear (natural), swim wear (natural), and theme wear (natural).  In the afternoon session the events were personality, with the former themes now in a glitzy manner. 

Janet LaCava, the founder of The Road to Broadway Pageant, is firm on her principles and stated, “I will not tolerate any drama.”  It’s a point well taken in the pageantry industry, where TV shows like TLC’s “Toddlers and Tiaras”  survive on the drama to boost ratings. 

LaCava is no stranger to the stage,  she is a former professional dancer, a performer, and trained in the top dance schools in New York City.  She is also a dance instructor, choreographer, and has been the president of a dance-teacher organization, an organizer and director of a regional ballet company, and currently the board President for the Arts Academy Elementary Charter School in Allentown. 

“It’s a great self confidence and self esteem booster”, one parent commented.  All the contestants commanded the stage and beamed with confidence.  For most contestants (who were old enough to walk on their own), their friendly personalities didn’t end when they stepped off the stage, and many greeted and hugged other contestants which provided a very warm and loving environment, which also included great social interaction for the kids. 

For Samantha Wright, age 3, this was her first pageant.  Although a little shy with comments, she stated that her ambition is to make people smile, and with a smile that lit up the room, she’s off to a great start.   


Brooks Dysher, who was celebrating his birthday, brought cupcakes for everyone and kept the house entertained during his performance of “Chim Chim Cheree” from Mary Poppins.  Brooks commented that his favorite foods are spaghetti, chicken nuggets and pizza. 


Maddison Rose Trump, 8 months old,  and  Budding Star Natural Mini Grand Supreme award winner, looks to her mother for support. Her favorite foods include bottles, cupcakes and strawberries. 


Layla Johnson,  a double award winner of the day, first with a Budding Star Glitz Mini Grand Supreme, and also an award for anti bullying poster contest winner.  Three words to describe Layla are smart, talkative, and loving. 


The highest score of the day went to Macie Bazella, who was awarded Rising Star Natural Mini Grand Supreme, Junior Congenialty, Junior Talent, and Junior Outfit of Choice.  Macie, a budding magician, wants to amaze people all over the world with her magic. 


Morgan Kenny looked stunning in her party wear,  and racked up four awards,  Natural and Glitz overall Grand Supreme,  Senior Talent, and Senior Outfit of Choice.   Three words to best describe Morgan are: driven, sincere, and passionate. 


Carleigh Galasso, age 15,  has a lot to smile about, pictured here in her Theme Wear Natural, as she took home the awards for Natural and Glitz Overall Grand Supreme. 


Hannibal Wharton, age 20 months, leans on Mom.


Jenna Banashefski,  struck a pose after the Party Wear Glitz competition. dsc_1502r

Other winners of the day include: Shining Star Natural Mini Grand Supreme, and Senior Congenitality, -Chloe Manogue-Shivak, and Budding Star Glitz Mini Grand Supreme, Amiyah Manson.

dsc_1431rAs 2016 nears the end, The Road to Broadway pageants continues in 2017:  Inaugural Natural Pageant, on Feburary 26, Masquerade Parisienne Pageant on April 23, Out of This World Pageant on September 10, and A Visit to the North Pole Pageant on November 14.  For more information please check out the website: