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.


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