Members of the newly crowned 2021 Oak Hill Festival of Flags royalty were joined by the 2019 royalty members for a photo following the Royalty Pageant last Saturday evening, May 3, at the Liberty Theatre Community Center. Pictured in the front row (from the left) are: 2019 Miss Teen Alexandria Johnson, 2019 Little Miss Lola Cozad, 2021 Little Miss Savannah Maynard, and 2019 Miss Festival of Flags Madison Porter. In the middle row (from the left) are: 2019 First Attendant Desirae Sharp, 2021 Miss Teen Hannah Yagel, and 2021 Junior Miss Bailey Antonora. In the back row is 2021 Miss Festival of Flags Mikayla Lodwick.
Members of the newly crowned 2021 Oak Hill Festival of Flags royalty were joined by the 2019 royalty members for a photo following the Royalty Pageant last Saturday evening, May 3, at the Liberty Theatre Community Center. Pictured in the front row (from the left) are: 2019 Miss Teen Alexandria Johnson, 2019 Little Miss Lola Cozad, 2021 Little Miss Savannah Maynard, and 2019 Miss Festival of Flags Madison Porter. In the middle row (from the left) are: 2019 First Attendant Desirae Sharp, 2021 Miss Teen Hannah Yagel, and 2021 Junior Miss Bailey Antonora. In the back row is 2021 Miss Festival of Flags Mikayla Lodwick.

The Oak Hill Festival of Flags Committee successfully presented its annual Royalty Pageant last Saturday evening, May 1, on a new date and in a new place.

Historically, the Royalty Pageant has been conducted at Oak Hill High School/Middle School on the Thursday evening immediately before the beginning of the festival the next day (Friday) on Memorial Day weekend.Also, this year’s Pageant was moved to the Liberty Theatre Community Center in Oak Hill dueto the COVID-19 restrictions. Due to the attendance restrictions, the event was live streamed on Facebook by both the Festival of Flags Committee and Total Media.

As a result of Saturday evening’s Pageant, four new royalty members were chosen to represent the 2021 festival.

The new Miss Festival of Flags iMikayla Lodwick, the 18-year-old daughter of Bridget Lodwick. She is a 2020 graduate of Oak Hill High School (OHHS) and was very active in the music programs at OHHS. She is currently employed at the Child Development Center in Jackson. She plans to attend the University of Rio Grande to study integrated language arts with the goal of becoming a middle school/high school Language Arts teacher.

Chosen as the Teen Miss Festival of Flags was Hannah Yagelthe 15-year-old daughter of Christina and Anthony Yagel. She is a sophomore at OHHS with plans to enroll next school year in the cosmetology program at the Buckeye Hills Career Center. After high school, she plans to attend Marshall University to study Veterinary Science.

The new Junior Miss Festival of Flags is Bailey Antonora, the 11-year-old daughter of Peggy Mollett. She is a fifth-grader at Oak Hill Elementary School.

The youngest member of the 2021 royalty group is the new Little Miss Festival of Flags, Savannah Maynard, the 8-year-old daughter of Ben Maynard, Dawn Dunaway, and stepfather T.R. Rawlins.

Each contestant was interviewed, answered a question from the fishbowl and was asked to recite how she would introduce herself and the festival if she was to be selected to serve as a royalty member.

Alternates weredetermined for each royalty division, but those names were placed in a sealed envelope and were not announced. The Pageant was judged by three judges from Gallia County, who also interviewed the contestants earlier in the day.

The new royalty members will reign over the 2021 Oak Hill Festival of Flags, which is set for Friday, May 28 through Monday, May 31 with most of the activities taking place at Aetna Park in Oak Hill. The Festival started in 1993 and this will be the 28th edition this year. The Festival is returning after being canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic.

The contestants in each division were:

Miss Festival of FlagsTamron McCain, Natalie Kranntiz and Mikayla Lodwick.

Miss Teen Festival of FlagsJerzey Dean andHannah Yagel.

Miss Junior Festival of FlagsMatison Detty, Kiara Arrington, Amarybee McCain, and Bailey Antonora.

Little Miss Festival of FlagsSavannah Maynard, Emma Miller, Rylee Harper, Lydia Strickland, and Aleah Ewing.

The Festival of Flags Committee also presented several special awards to the contestants.

The Mildred Bangert Community Service Award went to Natalie KrannitzThe award, which is sponsored by the Oak Hill Chamber of Commerce, is named in honor of a former Oak Hill educator and civic leader who was one of the founding leaders of the festival.

The Directors’ Award was presented to Mikayla Lodwick and is awarded to the contestant who is most cooperative with the committee and attentive to instructions during the Pageant process.

There were also winners in each division in a Photogenic Contest in which the public could cast online votes in the form of comments on posted photos of the contestants. The winners were: Miss Festival of Flags division, Tamron McCain;Miss Teen Festival of Flags division, Hannah Yagel; Junior Miss Festival of Flags division, Matison Detty; and Little Miss Festival of Flags division, Rylee Harper.

The Royalty Pageant also served as the platform for the recorded farewell speeches of the 2019 royalty members who were all present to assist with this year’s pageant. The outgoing royalty members are Miss Festival of Flags Madison Porter, First Attendant Desirae Sharp, Miss Teen Alexandria Johnson, and Little Miss Lola Cozad.

Festival of Flags President Joyce McClurg served as the very able emcee of the Pageant and other Committee members were present to help conduct the event. 

Before announcing the new royalty members, McClurg noted that COVID-19-related restrictions would be in place for this year’s festival. Those attending will be asked to practice social distancing, stay within their own groups and to wear masks “when appropriate” except when actively eating or drinking.

Due to the support of local sponsors and donors, the festival will be able to provide free one-day ride passes to all 600 students at Oak Hill Elementary School. Ride passes will also be available on a pre-sale basis and during the festival.

The festival’s day-by-day schedule has also been unveiled and McClurg reviewed some of the highlights with the Pageant audience. Featured entertainment will be the Nashville duo of Presley and Taylor on Saturday night and the Bon Jovi tribute band, Wanted, on Friday night. On Sunday evening, local singing groups, The Red Brush Band and Bart and the Chasers, will be featured. The complete festival schedule can be viewed on the festival’s official website and Facebook page and is expected to be published later in the local newspapers.

McClurg also announced that this year’s grand marshals for the Grand Parade on Sunday afternoon will be local business owners, Gary and Brenda Lunsford, who are being honored for their 50th year in business and because of their record of supporting the community.

McClurg also thanked Madison Township Trustee Greg Potter for sponsoring the Pageant and Brian Moore and the Oak Hill Historical Society for allowing the Pageant to be held at the Liberty Theatre Community Center.