Batavia Township Community Center was packed with residents Dec. 6 all welcoming the holiday season during the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
“I thought it was a great event,” Administrator Rex Parsons said.
The ceremony featured an appearance from Audrey Bolte, Miss Ohio USA, who lives in Batavia, Christmas carols led by Batavia Elementary School students, a visit from Santa, refreshments and an opportunity to help decorate the community center Christmas tree.
Audrey Bolte, who was crowned Miss Ohio in October, spoke to children and their parents at the event about growing up in Batavia Township and attending Batavia schools.
Bolte, a recent graduate of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in North Carolina, and avid equestrian, didn’t consider participating in a beauty pageant until she was finished with school. And while she had done some modeling, her first pageant ever was Miss Ohio USA.
“I wanted to opportunity to make a difference,” Bolte said about deciding to participate in the pageant.
Bolte encouraged children at the event to follow their dreams and thanked her Batavia teachers for preparing her for college and beyond. She also signed autographs and answered questions from the children.
Bolte will represent Ohio in the Miss USA pageant that will take place in the summer of 2012.
Those who attended the event were also able to sing Christmas carols with students from Batavia Elementary School and helped decorate the Batavia Township Christmas tree, which was lit during the ceremony.
Santa also attended the event, and Taylor Schmidt, 5, of Batavia, said seeing Santa was the best part of the night. Other children enjoyed decorating the Christmas tree and Ciera Wilson, who sang with the elementary school, said she like being able to do sign language for one of the songs.
“I was just so excited about the turnout and having Audrey there,” Parsons said about the event. “Every year the community just really supports it.”