ATLANTIC CITY — Now that they’ve zipped up their gowns, stepped on stage and shared their platforms, the 2019 Miss New Jersey contestants are ready for the crowning event.

After facing a new venue and a new competition program, the 28 women will learn Saturday which one of them is the new titleholder.

“It’s very bittersweet for me,” reigning Miss New Jersey Jaime Gialloreto said about passing on the crown. “This job and being Miss New Jersey will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Contestants didn’t parade down the boardwalk this year like when Miss New Jersey called Ocean City home, but the smiling faces of past Miss New Jerseys greeted audience members each night outside the Superstar Theater at Resorts Casino Hotel.

The red, white and blue pop-art paintings were created by new Miss New Jersey Executive Director David Holtzman, who oversaw the competition as it made its move to Atlantic City this year.

The pageant embraced its new location, and the city served as a focal point throughout the preliminary competitions.

The contestants performed in opening numbers each night that paid homage to the city’s heyday and modeled classic casino showcases.

As Frank Sinatra’s “Luck Be a Lady” blared through the theater, contestants entered through the approximately 200-member audience carrying feathered fans and wearing black and white showgirl costumes.

The “Do AC Dancers” backed singer Dave Damiani, who performed an original song titled “It’s Pure AC” with lyrics namedropping historical figures such as notorious political boss Nucky Johnson and modern food favorite Tony’s Baltimore Grille.

The show also featured a surprise appearance Wednesday from the city’s new Arena Football League team, the Atlantic City Blackjacks, who lifted Gialloreto up on their shoulders and did a quick set of push-ups on stage.

In front of six judges who included entertainers, educators, a nurse, a former Miss America hostess and former Miss America state directors, contestants performed their talents, answered an onstage interview question and explained their impact statements.

The talent portion, which counted for half their score, featured the familiar flair and captivating weirdness found in most pageants, from rhinestone river dancing to musical theater melodies to a moon-walking violinist.

The two talent winners this year were both awarded for their vocal skills. Miss Central Jersey Beaches Jade Glab won the talent portion Wednesday for her opera performance. Miss Eastern Shore Natalie Ragazzo won Thursday with a rendition of “I Can Cook Too” from the Broadway show “On The Town.”

But unexpected performances also broke through some of the more traditional talents.

Typically known for her dancing, Miss Bergen County Annelise Malgieri changed things up Thursday night and performed a personal monologue on her struggle with mental health.

This plunge into deeper issues continued as contestants answered an onstage question, which is a new addition to the Miss America programming, replacing swimsuit.

Alyssa Sullivan, Miss Atlantic Shores, and Christa Steiner, Miss Coastal Shore, took first place for their onstage interviews.

In her question from the judges, Steiner was asked what piece of legislation she would want her local legislators to sponsor/pass. She tied her answer to her social impact initiative: promoting arts funding.

The audience and the judges — who also held their own 10-minute interviews with contestants — learned a number of fun facts about the 28 women. During a performance of “I’m Every Woman,” Malgieri said she has never eaten a McDonald’s hamburger, Miss Cape Shores Madison Welsh carries a bag designed by her nieces, Miss Garden State Justine Murray got her passport eaten by a dog and Miss Ocean Sands Madison Kennelly wants to be an Academy Award-wining director.