Festival director speaks to Rotary

By Chad Clem

Staff Writer

Cricket Leary, director general of the Mountain State Forest Festival, gave the Elkins Rotary Club an update Monday on preparations for this year’s festival.

One new event is Mowing in the Mountains, part of the professional Sta-bil Lawn and Garden Mower Racing Series scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday at the Elkins Raceway in Kerens.

With more than 92 total participants, including a local resident, the event is a professionally sanctioned lawn mower race. Gates open at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 5-18. Children 5 and younger are free. Adults can buy a two-day pass for $15.

Leary explained that part of the reason some MSFF events are scheduled earlier than others is to spread out all of the stress on the community.

“There are a lot of things going on,” she said. “It’s good for some events to be peppered here and there in preparation for the big event.”

Leary also promoted the other major MSFF events scheduled, including the opening ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 28; the Classic Rock Show featuring The Guess Who on Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. at Harper McNeeley Auditorium at Davis & Elkins College; the Barney Fife impersonator who is performing on Friday, Oct. 4; and the Country Music Show featuring Chris Cagle and The Henningsens on Oct. 5 at Harper McNeeley Auditorium.

Other festival events include 7 Bridges, an Eagles tribute band in a performance that is free to the public; the Parade of Children: “Toon into TV” on the corner of 12th Street and South Davis Avenue, followed by the Children’s Fest: “Hooray for Hollywood” on Davis Avenue; and the second annual Chicken Wing Cook-Off.

Leary told the Rotarians the events are all part of this year’s theme, “Old Traditions with New Beginnings.”

“We really looked at all of the events of the past years and wanted to highlight what this festival really means for the state,” Leary said. “This is a celebration of rich traditions in the state and we wanted to remind people of those traditions, all the while creating new ones. We are very excited to get things going this year.”

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