Mountain State Forest Festival


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Mountain State Forest Festival

Last weekend in September through first week in October
This festival is an eight-day celebration of the timber industry—one of West Virginia's biggest industries—in the small town of Elkins. The 60th annual festival was held in 1996, but the event actually has its origins in the 1930 three-day "fall homecoming" held to call attention to the area's scenic attractions. The festival was suspended during World War II. Today attendance tops 100,000.
A highlight of the festival is the crowning of Queen Silvia, who wears an elaborate embroidered velvet gown. Usually the governor crowns the queen, but in 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt did the honors. After his address, a pageant was presented that was based on the ancient Egyptian myth of creation.
Events today salute the timber industry but also include non-timber events. Hence, there are forestry and wood-products exhibits and lumberjack contests along with a horseshoe tournament, live musical entertainment, a motorcycle race, arts and crafts exhibits, and a mammoth buckwheat cake and sausage feed. Buckwheat cakes are a local favorite. There are additionally several parades, including a fireman's parade with antique and modern fire equipment.
CONTACTS:
Mountain State Forest Festival
P.O. Box 388
Elkins, WV 26241
304-636-1824
www.forestfestival.com
SOURCES:
GdUSFest-1984, p. 209
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