NIU student vies for Miss America Petite

NIU student Lisa Taranto will vie for the Miss America Petite title in December after being crowned Miss Illinois Petite in September.

The pageant, which was sponsored by the Casablanca Modeling Agency, consisted of 96 contestants.

The contest has the same requirements as any other beauty pageant although all competitors must be 5-feet-5-inches tall or smaller, Taranto said.

As winner of the contest, Taranto received $1,000 and a free trip to Orlando, Fla. where she will compete against 49 other women for the national title.

The four judges for the state pageant included a representative from the Casablanca Modeling Agency, a representative from a talent agency in New York, a former Miss Illinois Petite and a professional photographer, she said.

The four judges interviewed the women on stage in an effort to get to know their personalities.

Sig Kap member Tina Ore said when Taranto walked in with her trophy, crown and roses “everybody was so excited” and there was a “massive party.”

The Miss America Petite competition, to be held Dec. 14-20, will include publicity shoots, appearances in parades and discos and a trip to Walt Disney World.