By Melanie Yingst
MIAMI COUNTY - Halee Mollette may have dreamed the dream, but never expected to walk away with 2014 Strawberry Festival Queen title at Troy High School on Friday Night.
Mollette, a senior at Newton High School, captivated the audience with Broadway musical Les Miserables’ “I Dreamed A Dream” and was crowned the queen of festival royalty.
“This is my first time trying this … I never expected to win,” Mollette said after she was crowned by 2013 winner Rachel Zelnick. “I saw a lot of friends come out here and do this last year so I thought I’d give it a shot. It was a great experience and I’m looking forward to the festival and spending time with the court.”
Mollette said she has been part of the Strawberry Festival, volunteering at the Lion’s Club booths in years past.
“I’ve always helped out with that, so this year will be exciting to be part of all the festivities for sure,” she said.”I had a great time meeting girls my age and sharing this experience with them.”
Mollette is the daughter of James and Tina Mollette of Ludlow Falls. Mollette also received a $1,200 scholarship donated by Excellence in Dentistry of Troy.
Troy High School senior Morgan McKinney was tapped as first attendant of the 2014 Troy Strawberry Festival.
McKinney said she would encourage any one around the county to participate in the pageant.
“It was just a great experience to be up there,” McKinney said. “I love the city of Troy and the festival. It’s my hometown which I’m glad to help represent during the festival this year. I’d tell anybody to give it a shot! It was great!”
McKinney received an $800 scholarship from DP&L.
Troy High School junior Caroline Elsass-Smith was second attendant. She received $600 from A.M. Leonard and Sons for her future education.
“It was a blast,” Elsass-Smith said. “I had a great time meeting new people and can’t wait for the festival in a few weeks.”
Tippecanoe High School junior Taylor Merrick was tapped as the first “People’s Choice” award. The audience voted via Smartphone for their personal favorite contestant of the evening. The “People’s Choice” award was sponsored by Giacomo’s Salon and Spa. Merrick received a $175 gift certificate from the downtown Troy salon.
The following sponsors support the 2014 Strawberry Festival Queen’s Pageant: Dr. Bentley, DDS, DP&L, A.M. Leonard Inc., Miami County Visitors Bureau, Trojan Florist, Troy Sports Center, Giacomo’s Salon & Spa and Hittle’s Jewelry.
* The annual Strawberry Festival Bowling Tournament kicks off on Friday May 2 at Troy Bowl.
* The Golden Couple Competition brings out the best (or worst) of all the unique aspects of married life for local couples. Local married couples married 50 plus-years play the “Not-so Newlywed” game to battle out who knows each other best. The event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 26 at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center .
* Lil Mr. and Miss Strawberry Pageant will be held at Concord Elementary School this year. The pint-size pageant is for children age 4-6 of age. The event will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 10. The pageant is still accepting applications.
Upcoming events and to download applications to participate can be found online at www.gostrawberries.com.
Melanie Yingst can be reached at (937) 440-5254 or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews