By Kristin Bednarski
The Student Activities Center at UC Clermont was rockin’ Jan. 19 for the second annual Rock and Roast event to benefit the Williamsburg to Batavia Hike Bike Trail.
The event featured a pig roast, musical entertainment, a silent auction and a presentation about the hike/bike trail that will eventually connect the villages of Williamsburg and Batavia.
“It was a great atmosphere and in my opinion it was a great Rock Roast,” Mayor Mary Ann Lefker, of the village of Williamsburg, said.
Lefker helped organize the second annual event, and said they decided to have it again because the first event was so successful.
She said they moved the event to the UC Clermont Student Activities Center this year to accommodate more people.
“We were really pleased with the turnout,” Lefker said. “The location was good, we had compliments.”
Many organizations and groups sponsored tables during the event, and there were also a variety of silent auction items donated including framed photographs of the trail, University of Cincinnati Bearcats items, a tandem bicycle, and more.
Pete Cooper, Angel Webb and Shawn Webb, all Williamsburg residents, said they support the trail and use the section that has already been completed.
“We walk the trail several times a week,” Angel Webb said. “We’re looking forward to it expanding.”
Webb said the trail is an excellent way to get outside and get exercise. She said it will benefit many in the area, including children.
“It is also very scenic,” Cooper said.
Cooper said it is nice to get outdoors and be able to see the beauty of the land.
Approximately two miles of the trial have already been completed in Williamsburg. When the entire trail is complete, it will run from Williamsburg into the village of Batavia.
The trail will be built using many roads abandoned by the construction of William H. Harsha Lake. It will be 13-15 miles long when it is complete.
Ken Stewart, a member of the Clermont County Park Commission, said they are getting closer to funding and completing the rest of the Williamsburg to Batavia Hike Bike Trail.
Stewart said their have been some setbacks with the trial, including environmental protection regulations.
“Slowly but surely we are getting there,” Stewart said. “We’re getting close but we’re not done yet.”
Stewart said he is excited for the trail to be complete and for residents to be able to get out on it.
“Once you get on the trail you’re in love,” Stewart said. “That’s what we’re hoping.”
Lefker said they do not have a final amount calculated from the event, but the silent auction alone raised approximately $2,000.
“We’re confident we will match or be darn close to last year as far as money raised,” Lefker said. “And we are thrilled with that.”
Last year the event raised more than $6,000.
The project is a collaboration between the village of Williamsburg, Batavia Township, the village of Batavia, Williamsburg Township, the Clermont County Park District, East Fork State Park, The Army Corps of Engineers, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, Clermont County Engineer’s Office, Clermont County Commissioners, the Clermont County YMCA and University of Cincinnati Clermont College.
For more information about the Williamsburg-Batavia Hike/Bike Trail visit www.parks.clermontcountyohio.gov/wbbiketrail.aspx.