Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
Sweigart crowned Miss Lake Festival
By Betty Lawrence
Miss Lake Festival 2011 Jena Sweigart of Celina waves to the crowd at Celina Fie. . .
CELINA - Jena Sweigart of Celina was crowned Miss Lake Festival 2011 at the annual festival pageant held Monday evening at the Celina Fieldhouse.
The queen and her newly named court will reign over the 50th consecutive Lake Festival this weekend. Sweigart also will have the opportunity to compete in the Miss Ohio Pageant 2012.
Inside the sweltering fieldhouse, the crowd fanned their programs and cheered on the seven contestants as the temporary air-conditioning units were struggling to work.
Sweigart, 19, is a graduate of Celina High School and the daughter of Jim and Jane Sweigart.
In the talent portion of the competition, which accounted for 35 percent of the total score, her sleeveless floor-length pink gown glistened as she caught the judges' attention in her operatic performance of "Nessum Dorma." Colorful embroidery highlighted her long white gown in the evening wear portion of the contest, and in the lifestyle and fitness division Sweigart chose a two-piece turquoise swimsuit.
Selected first runner-up was Emily Werling, 18, a 2011 graduate of St. Henry High School. She is the daughter of Rick and Carol Werling. Her blue gown sparkled as she sang "I'm a Star" in the talent portion of the competition. She walked across the stage in a sleeveless white gown for the evening wear portion and in a two-piece dark blue swimsuit for the lifestyle and fitness segment.
Named second runner-up was Kirsten Fennig, 18, a 2011 graduate of Celina High School and the daughter of Mike and Sue Fennig. She wore a striking purple gown as she played "Maple Leaf Rag" on the piano in the talent division. Her two-piece swimsuit was blue.
The youngest contestant, Kelsea Eblen, 17, was chosen third runner-up to round out the queen's court. She will be a 2012 Celina High School graduate and is the daughter of Chris and Amy Eblen. She sang the country song "American Honey" in the talent portion of the contest, and her two-piece swimsuit was blue.
The Celina Lake Festival Pageant is the largest scholarship pageant in Ohio with $12,000 in scholarships awarded to contestants this year. In addition, the Western Ohio Education Foundation awards $5,000 in in-kind scholarships.
Sweigart won the $3,800 Miss Lake Festival Scholarship, the $600 talent award and the $600 Fred Thees interview award.
First runner-up Werling received a $1,700 scholarship, and second runner-up Fennig earned a $1,400 award and the $300 on-stage interview award. A $1,000 scholarship award went to third runner-up Eblen.
Receiving the $500 non-finalist awards were contestants Lillian Roessner, Allison Dilbone and Ashlyn Jutte.
Jutte also was the recipient of the $200 People's Choice award and the $200 Barbara Wagner Memorial award that was announced after the pageant at a get-together at Bella's Italian Restaurant. Roessner was awarded the $700 Commitment to Excellence award.
Miss Lake Festival Queen 2010 Devon Stansbury crowned the new queen and performed throughout the evening, as did the hostess, Miss Ohio 2011 Ellen Bryan of Celina, who was Miss Lake Festival 2008.
Also performing were Grace Stammen of St. Henry, Miss Lake Festival Outstanding Teen 2010, and Kelsey Barrett of Wapakoneta, Miss Ohio Outstanding Teen 2011.