It’s Festival time in our great city; come join the fun

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For the better part of a century, the Mountain State Forest Festival has been a part of life each fall in our fair city.

Since 1930, save for seven years during World War II, the Festival has wowed crowds, drawn children from far and wide and even has been a popular political stop for several presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Richard M. Nixon and Jimmy Carter.

Anyone and everyone in Central West Virginia comes out for the annual fete, which also draws thousands from all over the United States.

I, myself, did not have an opportunity to attend a festival until I moved here in 2012.

I have an immigrant’s love for the Mountain State Forest Festival now, having grown to love and appreciate all its aspects from start to finish.

The thrill of seeing the Royal Court and Queen Silvia being crowned is nothing like I have experienced at any other Festival in not just West Virginia, but all over the East Coast.

The Forest Festival is, indeed, very special to our city, our county, our state and in many ways, our country.

It is a time to forget the stresses of daily life and let loose a bit, enjoying way too much carnival food, rides, educational activities and fun, in general.

And, let’s not forget about the Grand Feature Parade. Back in my marching band days, I surely would have cringed at the parade’s length and many twists and turns.

What strikes me most about this special week-long event isn’t the masses that descend on Elkins or even the ever-tiring schedule of the Royal Court. Frankly, it’s the tremendous amount of volunteers who make this festival and all of its many happenings a success.

Even though, in 11 days, the 2016 Festival will come to a close, barely a breath will pass before volunteers, assistant directors, board members and many other start all over again.

It’s truly amazing all that they accomplish leading up to the proverbial main event, and it’s more amazing all that is being done during festival week.

Director General Scott Goddard and all who are involved deserve much credit for making this year’s Festival a time to “Celebrate!”

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