Ryan Selected as Maid Silvia

Elkins, WV – Ona resident Miss Lilly Harper Ryan has been selected as Maid Silvia for the 86th Mountain State Forest Festival by Director General Peggy Phillips.  The selection of Maid Silvia has been kept confidential for months.  Miss Ryan will visit Elkins on Sunday to attend a private reception in her honor, sponsored by Graceland Inn and Davis & Elkins College Dining Services.

“I am honored to announce the appointment of Lilly Harper Ryan as Maid Silvia LXXXVI,” Phillips said. “Lilly frequently visits Elkins and has attended many festivals growing up, as she has close family ties to Elkins.  In our conversations, she expressed her love for the Mountain State Forest Festival and how special the people, community, and the traditions of the festival are to her and her family.  We believe she is a fantastic selection for Maid Silvia and cannot wait to watch her become Queen Silvia LXXXVI.  I am excited for everyone to meet Lilly and for her to carry on the “Timeless Traditions” of years past.”

Ryan, 20, is the daughter of Retired Lieutenant Colonel Jerry “Chip” Floyd and Amy Floyd of Ona, WV.  She is the granddaughter of Frank and Laura Santmyer of Elkins, Jim and Diana Sturm of Huntington, Norwin and Donna Lilly of South Charleston, Joe and Janet Richards of Charleston, Sandra Dennison of Ona and the late Jerry Floyd of Ona. She has one brother, Jaxon Santmyer, and two sisters, Anna and Erin Floyd.

The future Queen Silvia is a 2021 graduate of Cabell Midland High School, where she graduated in the top 5% of her class with very high honors, was a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, and was an office and teacher assistant. Lilly was also a member of the track and field team. She was a volunteer for Cabell County Special Olympics and participated in the Army National Guard Youth Leaders Camp and Marshall University SCORES. Lilly was selected Rotary Club Student of the Month, received the Freshman Award “Most Likely to Brighten Someone’s Day”, and was Student of the Year for Dual Credit Advanced Math Modeling Course. She danced competitively with Elite Performance Academy in Huntington from age 3 to 16.

In the fall, Lilly will be a Senior at Miami University in Oxford, OH, where she will graduate with Honors with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Disability Studies in December of 2024. Upon admission to Miami, Lilly received the Redhawk Excellence Scholarship and was accepted into the Honors College. She is completing her Honors Undergraduate Research Project focusing on the elevated disability rate in West Virginia. The goal of her project is to increase awareness, outline solutions, and increase representation of individuals with disabilities. Lilly received the Cynthia Kofie Daddieth award for Junior students with exceptional academic performance in Political Science. She was admitted into the combined Bachelor’s/Master’s program and will receive her Master of Arts in Political Science in May of 2025.  Lilly is on the Presidents list and is a member of the student advisory board for the Menard Family Center for Democracy. She is also a member of Women in Law, Amicus Curae, Miami Student Foundation, Beta Tau chapter of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, and Miami University Fashion and Design.

In her spare time, Lilly enjoys traveling with her family, cooking, crafting, designing, preparing for law school entrance exams, and hanging out with family and friends at home and her sorority sisters at Miami University.

Lilly worked at the Fuel Counter in Barboursville, a locally owned healthy alternative restaurant, interned at the law office of Chad D. Barry LLC, hosted at Pickle and Pig, a prohibition themed eatery in Oxford, OH, and was a Co Communication Director for Sam Lawrence 2022 Campaign for Ohio House of Representatives. This summer, she will be an intern for Shelley Moore Capito. Upon graduating with her Masters in the Spring of 2025, Lilly plans to attend law school and hopes to one day own her own firm.

Ryan will be crowned as Queen of the 86th Mountain State Forest Festival during the Royal Coronation at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 4, 2024, at the Citizens Bank of WV Outdoor Amphitheatre located on the campus of Davis & Elkins College.  Attended by forty Princesses from around the state, two Maids of Honor, and a Minor Court, she will receive her crown in an elaborate outdoor ceremony.

The 86th edition of the Mountain State Forest Festival with the theme “Timeless Traditions” will take place from Saturday, September 28, 2024, through Sunday, October 6, 2024. More information is available by calling the festival office at 304-636-1824, visiting festival social media, or by visiting www.forestfestival.com.

 

Ryan selected as Maid Silvia | News, Sports, Jobs – The Intermountain

Mountain State Forest Festival announces 86th Maids of Honor

Elkins, WV – Mountain State Forest Festival Director General Peggy Phillips has announced the appointments of Kourtney Nicole Jones and Jaden Faith Pratt as Maids of Honor to Queen Silvia LXXXVI.  Jones and Pratt are bestowed with the highest Randolph County honors in the Forest Festival’s 86th Royal Court.

Maid of Honor Jones is the daughter of John and Amanda Jones of Elkins.  She is the granddaughter of John and Judy Haskins of Buckhannon, and the late John Jones and Wilma Rogers of Elkins.

Jones is a 2024 graduate of Elkins High School, where she was class President, Randolph County Votech SkillsUSA President, a member of National Honors Society, National Technical Honor Society, and Spanish National Honor Society. Additionally, she completed high school in December of 2023. In the fall, Kourtney will be a freshman at West Virginia Wesleyan College where she is in the Honor’s College and plans to major in Nursing and Dietetics/Nutrition. Her future plans include working as a flight nurse while helping others obtain a healthy diet and lifestyle after studying Nutrition/Dietetics.

Jones served as a flower girl in the 79th Mountain State Forest Festival and her mother, Amanda, served as an Assistant Director for four years. Maid of Honor Jones is employed at both Randolph County and Upshur County Emergency Squads as an EMT-B and Canaan Valley Resort as a Ski Patroller in the winter and a lifeguard in the summer.  Kourtney attends Summit Church and in her spare time, she enjoys snowboarding, modeling, pageantry, baking, and spending time with her friends and family.

Maid of Honor Pratt is the daughter of Seth and Michelle Pratt of Elkins.  She is the granddaughter of Kenneth and Sharon Burgess of Beverly, and Jim and Harriet Pratt of Charleston, SC. She has one brother, Curt Conrad, and three sisters, Emily Conrad Timmons and husband Joel, Jaycee Pratt and fiancé Christian Mayle, and Saniya Pratt-Taylor. She has one nephew, Liam, and three nieces, Harlow and Genevieve Timmons and Mya Mayle. Jaden’s family hosted International Exchange Students for many years, both at EHS and D&E. She considers Lilly (Norway), Natela (France), Madlen (Germany), and Laura, Nora & Andrea (Spain) her sisters abroad.

Pratt is a 2021 graduate of Elkins High School, where she was an Honor Roll Student, National Honor Society member, 4-year letterman on the Volleyball Team, 2017-2018 EHS Swim Team, 2018 alternate at the WV State Swim Meet, completed the CNA program at the Randolph Technical Center and a SkillsUSA Member. In the fall, Jaden will be a senior at Davis and Elkins College where she plans to obtain her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and become a pediatric nurse. At D&E, she is the recipient of the Highland Scholarship, 4-H scholarship, leadership and legacy scholarships, dean’s list, and a Promise Scholar.

Pratt served as a flower girl in the 76th Mountain State Forest Festival and her mother, Michelle, has volunteered for different events the past 16 years and served as an Assistant Director for four of those years. Her sister, Emily Conrad Timmons, served as a princess in the 71st Mountain State Forest Festival. Maid of Honor Pratt currently works at Smoke on the Water. She has also worked at the Gandy Dancer Theatre and Center Stage Dance Studio as an instructor. Jaden grew up in Randolph County 4-H and was the 2017 Miss Teen Randolph County Fair. She danced for eight years at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio, where she was Dancer of the Year in 2017 and a four-year dancer on the Center Stage Dance Competition Team. In her spare time, Jaden enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and attending sporting events.

Jones and Pratt will accompany Queen Silvia LXXXVI during her Royal Coronation on October 4, 2024, at the Citizens Bank of WV Outdoor Amphitheatre located on the campus of Davis & Elkins College.

The 86th edition of the Mountain State Forest Festival with the theme “Timeless Traditions” will take place September 28, 2024, to October 6, 2024.  More information is available by calling the festival office at 304-636-1824, visiting festival social media, or by visiting www.forestfestival.com.

Mountain State Forest Festival announces Maids of Honor | News, Sports, Jobs – The Intermountain

2024 Mountain State Forest Festival Royal Minor Court announced

ELKINS — The Royal Minor Court of Queen Silvia LXXXVI has been selected and announced by Mountain State Forest Festival Director General Peggy Phillips and Queen’s Department Director Megan Casto. Representing the 86th Royal Court will be Crown Bearer Tinsley Paige Harris; Scepter Bearer Kennadi Blake Mongold; Flower Girls Alaina James Bender, Adalynn Grace Cooper, Olivia Brooke Howell, Lillian Shae James; and Train Bearers Colt Owen DeBolt and Beckett Leam Pritt.

Tinsley is the daughter of Tyler Harris and Logan Ryan of Elkins. She is the granddaughter of Richard and Leslie Stasny of Elkins, and Kenneth and Mary Ryan of Elkins. In the fall, Tinsley will be a kindergarten student at Jennings Randolph Elementary. She attends Dance by Farrah, gymnastics by Gary Brown at Center Stage, plays t-ball for Elkins Little League, and she is the 2024 Mini Miss Valentine’s Queen. Tinsley loves being outside, riding her bike, and playing with her cat, Cereal.

Kennadi is the daughter of Logan Mongold of Beverly and Molly Vance of Elkins. She is the granddaughter of Ron and Jane Vance of East Dailey, and Chester and Saundra Mongold of Moorefield. Kennadi has one sister, Averie. She currently attends Montessori Early Learning Center and enjoys riding her bicycle, playing on her swing set, and picking flowers. Kennadi does gymnastics at Tumble Time and enjoys the children’s services at Summit Church of Elkins. When she grows up, Kennadi wants to “make pretty fashion dresses” and become a doctor.

Alaina is the daughter of Scott and Erica Bender of Norton. She is the granddaughter of Cam and Janet Myles of Elkins, Randy Bender of Elkins, and Deena Bender of Weston. Alaina has one brother, Cason. In the fall, she will be a fourth grade student at Jennings Randolph Elementary where she is a cheerleader for the Jennings Patriots. In addition, Alaina is a cheerleader for the Elkins Bengals and participates in tumbling at Axis Training. She enjoys art, hiking, and playing with her cat. In the future, Alaina plans to be a zookeeper.

Adalynn is the daughter of Nathan and Ashley Cooper of Elkins. She is the granddaughter of Toni Myers and Brad Reed of Elkins, the late Charles and Mary Nucilli Jones of Elkins, and George and Marsha Worden of Elkins. In the fall, Adalynn will be a fourth grade student at Jennings Randolph Elementary. She is a three year member of the Mountain Gymnastics Academy Competitive gymnastics team. She is also involved in 4-H and is part of the Lucky Leaf Livestock 4H group. In addition, Adalynn is part of the Elkins Otter Swim. She is an honor student and third grade student council representative. In her free time, Adalynn enjoys playing with her dog, Reddington, and spending time with her family and friends. Her future ambition is to become a veterinarian.

Olivia is the daughter of Angela and Donald J. Howell Jr. She is the granddaughter of David and Kim Dick of Elkins, and Donald J. Howell Sr. and Michelle Watson, both of Elkins. Olivia has one brother, Mason. In the fall, she will be a fifth grade student at Midland Elementary. Olivia is on the AB Honor Roll and was a member of the 2023-2024 fourth grade basketball team. She was a member of Seneca Soccer and also participated in dance and gymnastics classes. In her spare time, Olivia enjoys doing crafts, sewing, and swimming in her pool. When she grows up, Olivia would like to be a cosmetologist.

Lillian is the daughter of Daniel and Ciera James of Beverly. She is the granddaughter of Terry and Annette Mitchum of Adkins, Virginia, Jerry James of Jane Lew, and Andrew and Teresa Howell of Elkins. Lillian is also the great-granddaughter of Doris Daniels and the late Frank Daniels of Elkins, the late Mary Akers of Bowden, and the late Alice DeTore of Elkins. She has two brothers, Ian and Ryan, and one sister, Ellie. In the fall, she will be a fifth grade student at Beverly Elementary. Lillian is a cheerleader for both Elkins Bengals and her school. She is a dancer with Axis Training, where she also enjoys tumbling. Lillian likes hunting with her father and traveling with her family.

Colt is the son of Corey and Tiffany DeBolt of Elkins. He is the grandson of Dr. John and Annette Henderson of Elkins, Greg and Charlotte Richards of Elkins, and Craig and Kathy DeBolt of Sparrow Point, Maryland. In the fall, Colt will be a fourth grade student at Midland Elementary where he is an “A” honor roll student. He earned his orange belt at Davis Karate Academy. Colt enjoys the outdoors, spending time at his family camp in Bemis, playing video games, swimming, and hitting golf balls with his dad.

Beckett is the son of Kevin and Brenda Pritt of Elkins. He is the grandson of Ted and Peggy Bennett of Elkins, Kenneth and Judy Pritt of Beverly, and Peggy Pritt of Elkins. He is also the great-grandson of Buzz and Brenda Bennett of Norton. He has two brothers, Braxden and Briggs. In the fall, Beckett will be a fourth grade student at Midland Elementary where he is an Honor Roll student. Beckett is a multi-sport athlete playing baseball for 5 years at Elkins Little League, soccer for Seneca Soccer, football for the Elkins Bengals, basketball at Elkins YMCA as well as Midland Elementary, and swimming with the RAYS. He enjoys playing outside with his brothers, friends and his dog, Kimber. Beckett also enjoys going to the beach and attending athletic events. He has high hopes for his future, dreaming of becoming a professional athlete.

The Royal Minor Court will accompany Maid Silvia LXXXVI during her royal coronation on Oct. 4, 2024, at the Citizens Bank of WV Amphitheater on the campus of Davis and Elkins College. The 86th Mountain State Forest Festival is scheduled for Sept. 28, 2024, through Oct. 6, 2024. More information is available by calling the festival office at 304-636-1824, visiting festival social media, or by visiting www.forestfestival.com.

2024 Mountain State Forest Festival Royal Minor Court announced | News, Sports, Jobs – The Intermountain

Assistant Directors announced for 86th Forest Festival

ELKINS — Mountain State Forest Festival (MSFF) Director General Peggy Phillips announces the appointment of the Queen’s Department Director, Deputy Director, and the Assistant Directors for the 86th MSFF. Coordinating this year’s MSFF will be Queen’s Department Director Megan Casto; Deputy Director Lisa Shaffer; and Assistant Directors Anthony Bates, Nathaniel Bonnell, Keith Corley, Zach Elbon, Tracy Gooden, Jennifer Morgan, Whitney Morris, Todd Riggleman, Brian Romero, Jeff Skidmore, Karrah Washington, and Derek Wetsch.

Megan Casto will be serving her second year as the Director of the Queen’s Department. She will lead the planning, coordinating, and delivering of all activities for the Royal Court of the 86th MSFF. In 2022, Casto served as an Assistant for the Queen’s Department. She and her family have been actively involved with the MSFF for many years. Casto has volunteered on several committees to include Princess Orientation, Minor Court, Princess Ambassador, Window Decorating, and Pet Show. She was a Flower Girl in the 1995 MSFF and was a Maid of Honor in the 2008 MSFF. Her husband Dusty was a Trumpeteer for the MSFF from 1998-2000. Casto and her husband have two daughters, Callie and Everly. Callie served as a Scepter Bearer in the 2019 MSFF. Casto is employed as an accountant at Woodford Oil Company.

Lisa Shaffer will be serving as the Deputy Director for the 86th MSFF. Lisa previously served six years as a Queen’s Department Assistant. She and her husband, Ben, have been active volunteers with the MSFF for many years. Lisa has been involved with the Distinguished Guest Dinner and Queen’s Ball Committees, Band Field Show, Window Decorating, Lumberjack Contest, and Horseshoe Tournament. Ben served as Director General of the 78th MSFF and President of the MSFF Board of Directors from 2021-2023. Her niece, Haleigh Riggleman, was a Flower Girl in 2013 and a Princess in 2022. Niece Sarah Riggleman served as a Maid of Honor in the 84th edition of the festival in 2022. Shaffer is employed by the Randolph County Housing Authority.

Anthony “Tony” Bates returns for his seventh year as an Assistant Director.  He is employed by the United States Department of Justice. He is actively involved with the WVSSAC Registered Basketball Officials and is the President of the North Central Officials Association. He is a member of the Phillips Chapel United Methodist Church. He and his wife, Krista, have three daughters, Haley, Presley, and Ella and a granddaughter, Maeve. Presley served as a Flower Girl in the 2012 MSFF and was a Jester in the 2014 MSFF. Tony has volunteered and been responsible for coordinating the Strongest Man/Woman in the Forest Competition, Lumberjack Contest, Archery Shoot, Mini Horse Show, Vendor Row, and Sanitation. For the 86th MSFF, Bates has been tasked with managing the Cornhole Tournament, Muzzleloading Competition, Vendor Row, and Sanitation.

Nathaniel Bonnell will serve his third year as an Assistant Director. He is the President and CEO of Citizens Bank of West Virginia and Citizens Financial Corp. Bonnell holds a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Information Systems Auditor, and Chartered Global Management Accountant designation. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Randolph County Development Authority, Rotary Club of Elkins, the West Virginia Bankers Association, and the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation. In addition, Bonnell is a member of the Board of Trustees of Davis & Elkins College. He is a member of American Institute of CPAs, West Virginia Society of CPAs, and the Young Presidents’ Organization. Bonnell is a 2014 graduate of Leadership West Virginia. Married to Christina Bonnell, they reside in Elkins with their two daughters, Braelyn and Kelsea. This year, he is tasked with managing and overseeing MSFF Plaques, Tennis/Pickleball Tournaments, 10K/5K Race, Cross Country Race, and Official Vehicles.

Keith Corley will return for his second year as an Assistant Director for the 86th MSFF. He is a retired member of the West Virginia State Police, serving 28 years in law enforcement. Corley and his wife, Beth, have two daughters, Kendall and Alexa, and son-in-law Dylan Eva. Beth was a Flower Girl in 1976 and a Princess in 1989. Kendall was a Jester in the 83rd MSFF. Corley is employed as a Funeral Home Assistant at Tomblyn Funeral Home. He and his wife own Tumble Time Gymnastics. This year, his events include the Kickoff Party, Information Booth, Car Show, Craft Show, and Grand Feature Parade.

Zach Elbon will be serving his fourth year as an Assistant Director. He graduated from WVU with a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering with a minor in Geology. Elbon spent the first 10 years of his professional career working as an engineer in the oil and gas field. Zach is employed with ProFrac Services as a support engineer. He has started several businesses including Emblazon Sign Company, Noble Investments Limited, and Noble Response Solutions, all with the goal of helping to create a vibrant small business community in Randolph County. He is the Vice President of the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce and is member of the 2024 class of Leadership Randolph. Zach and his wife, Megan, have volunteered for the Mountain State Forest Festival for numerous events including Golf Tournament, Grand Feature Parade, Chili Cook-Off, City Park, Irish Road Bowling, Scrapbook, Princess Ambassador Program, Queen’s Ball, and Distinguished Guest Dinner. Megan served as a Flower Girl in 2001 and a Maid of Honor in 2012. They have one daughter, Ella. This year, Zach is responsible for the Golf Tournament, City Park Events, and Irish Road Bowling.

Tracy Gooden will begin her sixth year as an Assistant Director. Gooden is employed as a Data Associate for Vizient Inc. She and her husband, Ron, have one daughter, Abigale Sicca, who served as a Princess in the 80th MSFF. Gooden is a mentor with Randolph County CLIMB.  She and her family attend the First Baptist Church in Elkins. Gooden previously served as Director of the Queen’s Department and on numerous MSFF committees including Children’s Fest, Downtown Window Decorations, Country Music Show and Tailgate Party, Crafts and More, Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Highland Dance, Children’s Parade, and the Band Field Show. This year, she will lead the coordinating and planning for the Photography Exhibit, Kids Day in the Park, and the Highland Dance Competition.

Jennifer LaMora Morgan is serving her first year as an Assistant Director. Morgan is a partner at the law firm of Busch, Zurbuch & Thompson, PLLC, specializing in real estate law. She and her husband, Jon, have two children, Grant and Emma. Morgan and her family have been actively involved in Festival for many years. Her husband, Jon, most recently served as the Director General for the 85th MSFF. Her daughter, Emma, served as Crown Bearer in 2019. Jennifer served as Crown Bearer in 1987 and Maid of Honor in 2000. Both of Morgan’s parents, Ray and Sue LaMora, have had many years serving with the MSFF. Morgan is President of the Board of Trustees for the Elkins Randolph County Public Library. She and her family attend St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Morgan has previously served as the Chair for the MSFF Queen’s Quilt. This year, she will lead the coordinating and planning for the Parade of Children, Pet Show, and the Hospitality Tent.

Whitney Morris returns for her third year as an Assistant Director. Morris also served three years as an Assistant with the Queen’s Department. She has volunteered with the MSFF in multiple capacities and served on many committees over the years including the Children’s Parade, Band Field Show, and Grand Feature Parade. Morris lives in Elkins with her husband, Robbie, and two stepdaughters, Elin and Tinley. Robbie was Director General of the 84th MSFF, and Elin was a Flower Girl in 2018. Whitney is the Controller at Woodford Oil Company, a mentor with Randolph County CLIMB, and a member of Leadership Randolph 2024. She serves as a board member for Davis Health System Foundation, United Way, and Elkins Otters. This year, she will be responsible for Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Distinguished Guest Dinner, Queen’s Ball, and the first annual Mountain State Forest Festival Purse Bingo.

Todd Riggleman will return for his 14th year as an Assistant Director. He is the manager of distribution forestry with Mon Power, a FirstEnergy Company. Riggleman and his wife Robin have two sons, Garrett and Kyle, as well as a four-year old granddaughter, Hadley. Kyle served as Train Bearer in the 2009 MSFF. His sister, Kelly Gilbert, was a Jester in the 1981 MSFF. Riggleman attends Woodford Memorial United Methodist Church. He has served as a volunteer with the Elks Babe Ruth Baseball League for more than 14 years and announces sporting events at Elkins High School. Riggleman has worked on numerous events including the Lumberjack Contest, Strongman Competition, Information Booth, Bass Tournament, Flags and Banners, Fireman’s Parade, Forestry and Wood Products, Pet Show, Photography Exhibit, Miniature Horse Show, ATV Race, Poker Run, Vendor Row, Sanitation, Primitive Campers, and Grounds. This year, he will lead the coordination of Flags and Banners, Fireman’s Parade, Grounds, and the Primitive Campers.

Brian Romero will return for his third year as an Assistant Director. He works for The Corsi Group as the Director of Manufacturing. Romero and his wife, Beverly, have one son, Josh, and one daughter, Macie. Macie was a Jester in the 82nd MSFF in 2018. Romero is a board member of the Elkins Randolph County Chamber of Commerce and an assistant wrestling coach of the Davis & Elkins College wrestling team. Brian was also selected to the 2024 Leadership West Virginia program. Keeping in alignment with last year, Romero will manage and oversee the Forestry & Wood Products Exhibits, Strongest Team in the Forest Competition, and the Lumberjack Contest.

Jeff Skidmore will return to the MSFF for his seventh year as an Assistant Director. He has been employed by the Randolph County Assessor’s office for 27 years. He has been involved with Elkins Raceway for over 40 years and is currently the media director and director of Competition placement.  Skidmore has two nieces, Jackie Skidmore-Teter and Samantha Skidmore, who have both served as Princesses in the 2002 and 2006 MSFFs, respectively. Skidmore has previously volunteered for Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs. He has served on numerous MSFF committees including the Lumberjack Contest, Country Music Show, Gospel Show, Information Booth, ATV Race, Distinguished Guest Dinner and Queens Ball, Jack Basil Band Field Show, Band Recruitment for the Grand Feature Parade, ROTC units, Organizing Flags and Banners for the MSFF, The Indianapolis Police Department Motorcycle Drill Team, and many other events. This year, Skidmore will be overseeing the Downtown Stage events, the Indianapolis Motor Team, and the Country Music Show, as well as coordinating the Lights and Sound for all MSFF events.

Karrah Washington will serve her third year as an Assistant Director. She graduated from West Virginia University in 2012 with a degree in Social Work and Minors in both Child Development & Family Studies and Communication. She is employed as the Marketing Director/Office Manager for Nikki Rogers and Devon Rogers State Farm. She and her husband, Brandon, have one son, Brayton, and one daughter, Braelynn. Washington was a Princess in the 2008 MSFF. Most recently, Brayton served as Crown Bearer in the 2023 MSFF. Karrah is an Interact Children’s Museum Board Member, a Randolph County CLIMB mentor, and a member of Leadership Randolph 2024. In the past, Washington has volunteered with Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Distinguished Guest Dinner, and Queen’s Ball Committees.  This year, she will be responsible for the Downtown Window Decorations, the Official MSFF Program, Children’s Fest, and the ATV Event.

Derek Wetsch is serving his first year as an Assistant Director. He is the pharmacy manager for CVS Pharmacy in Buckhannon and is admitted to the West Virginia State Bar as an attorney. He and his wife, Allison, have one son, Henry. Wetsch served as a Boy Scout in 2001 and as a Trumpeteer in the 2005 and 2006 MSFF. He directed the Trumpeteers from 2007-2012 and, along with his family, coordinated the 2016 WVU Marching Band visit. He will be leading the coordination efforts of the Jack Basil Band Field Show and Bass Tournament.

Director General Peggy Phillips states, “I am so excited and extremely honored to be working alongside this group of dedicated and hardworking Assistant Directors. Their love, commitment, and comradery for the MSFF and this community shows in their outstanding work, and I am thankful for everything they have done and continue to do to ensure the success of the 86th ‘Timeless Traditions’ MSFF!”

The 86th edition of the Mountain State Forest Festival will be celebrated Sept. 28 – Oct. 6. More information is available by calling the festival office at 304-636-1824, visiting festival social media, or by visiting www.forestfestival.com.

Assistant Directors announced for 86th Forest Festival | News, Sports, Jobs – The Intermountain

Queen’s Department for 86th Mountain State Forest Festival announced

ELKINS – Mountain State Forest Festival Director General Peggy Phillips announces the appointment of the Queen’s Department for the 86th edition of the Festival. The theme for this year, taking place Saturday, Sept. 28 through Sunday, Oct. 6, is “Timeless Traditions.”

Megan Casto will be serving her second year as the Director of the Queen’s Department. She will lead the planning, coordinating and delivering of all activities for the Royal Court of the 86th MSFF. In 2022, Casto served as an Assistant for the Queen’s Department. She and her family have been actively involved with the MSFF for many years.

Casto has volunteered on several committees, including Princess Orientation, Minor Court, Princess Ambassador, Window Decorating, and Pet Show. She was a Flower Girl in the 1995 MSFF and was a Maid of Honor in the 2008 MSFF. Her husband Dusty was a Trumpeteer for the MSFF from 1998-2000. Casto and her husband have two daughters, Callie and Everly. Callie served as a Scepter Bearer in the 2019 MSFF. Casto is employed as an accountant at Woodford Oil Company.

Hannah Shiflett will return for her second year as a Queen’s Department Assistant. Shiflett has previously volunteered on the Minor Court Committee and was a Princess Ambassador. She was a Maid of Honor in the 82nd MSFF and was a Flower Girl in the 72nd MSFF. Hannah is currently employed as a teacher at Midland Elementary School. Additionally, she is employed at the Gandy Dancer Theatre and Conference Center, where she is in her eleventh season, and is the lead dancer and back-up vocalist.

Allicen Simon will be serving her first year as a Queen’s Department Assistant. She has volunteered with the MSFF for many years on several committees. Allicen served as a Princess Ambassador, as well as serving as the Princess Ambassador Committee Chair. She was Chair of the Princess Housing Committee and was also a Jester Competition Judge. Simon is employed as a substitute teacher for Randolph County Schools. Allicen is married to Mike Simon of Elkins, and they have one daughter, Caroline. Allicen served as a Princess in the 2004 MSFF and Caroline served as a Flower Girl in the 2023 MSFF.

Maid Silvia LXXXVI will be crowned Queen of the 86th MSFF during the Royal Coronation at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4 at the Citizens Bank of WV Amphitheatre, located on the campus of Davis & Elkins College. More information is available by calling the festival office at 304-636-1824, visiting festival social media, or by visiting www.forestfestival.com.

Queen’s Department for 86th Mountain State Forest Festival announced | News, Sports, Jobs – The Intermountain

Phillips named 86th Mountain State Forest Festival Director General

ELKINS — The Board of Directors of the Mountain State Forest Festival is pleased to announce their appointment of Peggy G. Phillips as Director General of the 86th Mountain State Forest Festival. The festival is scheduled to take place from Sept. 28 through Oct. 6.

“I am honored and humbled to be chosen as Director General for the 86th Mountain State Forest Festival. I am blessed to be able to work with a fantastic group of Assistant Directors this year,” said Phillips.

“I am excited to see the teamwork, comradery, and event support this elite group of Assistant Directors are bringing to the 86th festival. This year’s theme is ‘Timeless Traditions’ and I have chosen the theme ‘A Forest Fairytal’ for the Parade of Children. My family and I have always loved the festival and we enjoy when it becomes ‘Forest Festival time.’

“When I think back on growing up in Randolph County and attending the festival each year with my family and friends, I am reminded of many festival traditions. They are, and will always be ‘timeless,’ not only to me, but to the citizens of Randolph County, too. This is how this year’s theme came to life,” Phillips explained.

Phillips previously served as Deputy Director General in the 85th festival, served four years as Queen’s Department Director and one year as a Queen’s Department Assistant.

Phillips volunteered on several festival committees including Distinguished Guest Dinner and Queen’s Ball; Band Field Show; Poker Run; Golf Tournament; Banjos, Burgers, and Beer MSFF; Autumn Ales Beer MSFF; Craft Beerfest; and was a chaperone for the Minor Court school tours.

Phillips has been employed by the United States Department of Justice since 1995 and works as a Management and Program Analyst. A member of the Phillips Chapel United Methodist Church, she and her husband, Junior, are the parents of Hannah and Michael. Hannah served as a Flower Girl in the 77th festival and, most recently, as a Maid of Honor in the 84th festival. The Phillips family have been active volunteers with the MSFF for many years.

More information about this year’s festival is available by following the Mountain State Forest Festival page on Facebook, visiting the website at www.forestfestival.com, or by calling the festival office at 304-636-1824.

https://www.theintermountain.com/news/local-news/2024/03/phillips-named-86th-mountain-state-forest-festival-director-general/

Jones elected MSFF board president

ELKINS – The Mountain State Forest Festival Association announces Lydia Jones has been elected President of its Board of Directors.

Jones was born and raised in Elkins and is a graduate of Elkins High School. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts at West Virginia Wesleyan College. She currently manages Perfection Plus Turbo-Dry, LLC and serves as property manager of Wagner Properties, LLC.

Jones served as an Assistant to the Queen’s Department in 2009 and 2010, and was appointed as Director of the Queen’s Department in 2011, where she served in that capacity for three years. She was appointed Director General in 2015 and joined the Board of Directors in 2017. She served as Vice-President in 2022 and 2023.

Jones is a member of the First United Methodist Church. She is a board member of Interact Children’s Museum, and PTA President at Midland Elementary School.

She is married to Grant Jones, and they have one son, Max, who served as Crown Bearer in the 2022 Mountain State Forest Festival. Her family has held the Princess Parade Welcoming at their office since 2006. Lydia was a princess in the 2003 Mountain State Forest Festival, and her brother was a Train Bearer in 1988.

Other elected members of the Mountain State Forest Festival Board of Directors include Scott Harris, Bill Hartman, Hugh Hitchcock, Mike Karlen, Ray LaMora, Cricket Leary, Kathy Leombruno, Cliff Marstiller, Robin Miller, Robbie Morris, Frank Santmyer, Ben Shaffer, Chad Shoemaker, and Bob Wamsley. Community Board members include David Kesling, Susie Kump, Jerry Marco, Shelby Searls and Chris Wood.

“I am humbled and excited to serve as President of the Board of Directors of the Mountain State Forest Festival,” Jones said. “The entire board is supportive and works hard to ensure our legacy continues as one of the oldest and largest festivals in the state. We can’t wait to work with Director General Peggy Phillips and her Assistant Directors to put on another fantastic festival as we celebrate the beauty and splendor of our mountains and valleys.”

The state’s largest and oldest festival is scheduled for Sept. 28-Oct. 6.

Additional information about the Mountain State Forest Festival is available online at www.forestfestival.com.

https://www.theintermountain.com/news/local-news/2024/02/jones-elected-msff-board-president/

Woodly the Elf poster contest now underway

ELKINS – Mountain State Forest Festival officials have announced the kickoff of the annual Woodly the Elf poster contest for the 86th autumn celebration.

Woodly the Elf is the official mascot of the Mountain State Forest Festival.

The poster contest, now in its 45th year, is held to select the student who will have the honor of serving as Woodly the Elf. The poster winner will become a member of the Royal Minor Court of Queen Silvia LXXXVI, and make appearances at the Buckwheat Festival and Strawberry Festival.

The Woodly the Elf contest is open to Randolph County students in second, third or fourth grades – including home school, private or public schools. Four runner-ups will be chosen and invited to ride on the Woodly the Elf float in the Grand Feature Parade.

Entry forms are available at local elementary schools, the Mountain State Forest Festival office located at 10 11th Street, Office F, and at Citizens Bank in Elkins and Beverly. Entry forms may also be downloaded at www.forestfestival.com or you can visit the Facebook page of the Mountain State Forest Festival or Citizens Bank of West Virginia.

Woodly the Elf’s costume and associated fees are paid for by the sponsor, Citizens Bank of West Virginia.

Rules of the contest are as follows:

1. The poster must depict Woodly the Elf, preferably watching or participating in one or more Mountain State Forest Festival events. The theme “Timeless Traditions” should also be clearly depicted on the front of the poster.

2. The poster is to be on a 22-inch by 28-inch poster board.

3. Poster must be submitted by one individual; this is not a group project.

4. Be creative and imaginative. You may use glue, glitter, material, etc. in your design. You may not use photos or any identifying text on the front of the poster.

5. Only one entry per student is permitted.

6. On the back of the poster, you must write and sign: “I have completed this poster by myself,” with the student’s signature.

Completed posters can be returned to the child’s school or dropped off at the festival office at 10 11th Street, Office F.

Contest entries are due by March 15. No late entries are accepted.

The 86th edition of the Mountain State Forest Festival will take place Saturday, Sept. 28 – Sunday, Oct. 6. For more information, please visit the Mountain State Forest Festival website at www.forestfestival.com or via e-mail at [email protected].

https://www.theintermountain.com/news/local-news/2024/02/woodly-the-elf-poster-contest-now-underway/

MSFF Queen’s Quilt block contest begins

ELKINS — An annual Mountain State Forest Festival quilting contest that is open to the public is getting underway.

The Elkins Sewing Center, in cooperation with the Mountain State Forest Festival, is pleased to announce that kits are available for the 2024 Queen’s Quilt Challenge.

This annual block challenge results in the creation of a beautiful quilt which is given to Queen Silvia during the Closing Ceremony.

A challenge packet of six fabrics is available for purchase. Block guidelines are included with the kit. Fall themes are best for this quilt contest, officials said.

Blocks are to be returned to Elkins Sewing Center by May 1 and voting by the public will be available until June 1.

The winners of the 2024 Challenge will be selected by popular vote, so officials ask the public to be sure to come in and select your favorites. Winners will receive gift cards to be used at Elkins Sewing Center.

Packets are available for purchase at Elkins Sewing Center, located at 300 Davis Avenue in Elkins.

For more information, please call 304-636-9480 with any questions.

https://www.theintermountain.com/news/local-news/2024/02/msff-queens-quilt-block-contest-begins/

Morgan selected as Director General for the 85th MSFF

ELKINS — The Board of Directors of the Mountain State Forest Festival is pleased to announce their appointment of Jonathan R. Morgan as Director General of the 85th Mountain State Forest Festival.

The Festival is scheduled to take place from Sept. 30 through Oct. 8.

“It’s an honor to be chosen as Director General and work with a great group of assistants for the 85th Mountain State Forest Festival,” said Morgan.

This year’s theme — “Endlessly Wild & Wonderful” — will be shared with the Monongahela National Forest.

The Forest will provide the 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree on behalf of the USDA Forest Service and the state of West Virginia, kicking off a year-long celebration to connect people to West Virginia’s public lands.

Morgan was appointed as an Assistant Director in 2013 and served in that role until 2020, when he was selected as Deputy Director General.

He and his wife Jennifer have one son, Grant, and one daughter, Emma. Jennifer served as Crown Bearer in the 1987 Festival and a Maid of Honor in the 2000 Festival, while Emma was the Crown Bearer in the 83rd Festival in 2019.

Morgan has served as a past president of the Elkins Kiwanis Club.

Through his work with the Festival, he has volunteered with City Park events, Irish Road Bowling, 10K Run, Horseshoes, Bass Tournament, Primitive Campers, Tennis, Lumberjack Contest, Security, Communications and the Band Field Show.

Morgan was born and raised in Elkins and is a graduate of Elkins High School. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University and is a professional engineer in West Virginia.

He works for the USDA Forest Service on the Monongahela National Forest as the District Ranger on the Cheat-Potomac Ranger District. Morgan began his career in the agency in 2002 and has served as District Ranger since 2020.

More information about this year’s festival is available by following the Mountain State Forest Festival page on Facebook, visiting the website at www.forestfestival.com, or by phone at 304-636-1824.

https://www.theintermountain.com/news/local-news/2023/03/morgan-selected-as-director-general-for-the-85th-msff/