The fanfare of the Mountain State Forest Festival Trumpeteers announced Maid Silvia LXXVI Emily McKibbin Everson as she and her royal court paid visits to businesses and schools Tuesday. The second day of tours began rainy, but ended up warm and sunny as the entourage traveled through Festival City.
"I think things have been great so far," MSFF Director General Mike Karlen said. "The weather is going to cooperate and I want to invite everyone out to take in all of the events."
The staff of Citizens Bank of West Virginia greeted Everson and her maids of honor, Megan Leigh Nida and Emily Jane Thompson. The group took advantage of the opportunity to view the bank's festival display created by the Maple Leaf Society. The display features the gown, train and portrait of 1955 Queen Silvia XIX Mary Ann Power Douglas from Martinsburg. She was the first Forest Festival Queen from Martinsburg.
Scenes from the first three days of the MSFF
The group then made its way to Elkins Middle School, where students told Everson they made a donation to the United Way of Randolph County in her honor. Everson presented the school with a signed copy of the Mountain State Forest Festival program and gave each student a bookmark.
At Third Ward Elementary School, Everson and her royal court were greeted with cheers, smiles and applause. Everson presented the school with a copy of the book, "John Denver's Take Me Home, Country Roads," for their library. The students at Third Ward Elementary made a $75 donation to the Elkins Otters Swim Team in honor of Everson.
The next stop on the tour was North Elementary School, where the fifth-grade choir, under the direction of Steven Lee, performed for Everson and her court.
The Inter-Mountain Photos by Beth Christian Broschart
Mountain State Forest Festival Royal Trumpeter Aaron E. New announces the arrival of Maid Silvia LXXVI Emily McKibbin Everson and her Maids of Honor Megan Leigh Nida and Emily Jane Thompson Tuesday. At left, a Midland Elementary School student welcomes Maid Silvia and her maids of honor.
Everson gave each student a bookmark and presented a copy of the "Take Me Home, Country Roads" book to the school library. A silver maple leaf was presented to Everson by Alexis Hare.
At Coalton Elementary School, the choir sang "This Land is Your Land" and played boomwhackers. The Coalton choir is under the direction of Lynne Serba.
Everson thanked the students for inviting her to Coalton Elementary.
"I hope you are all excited for the Forest Festival," Everson said. "I hope to see all of you at the carnival, the parades and the coronation."
Coalton students Brooklynn Mahanes, Morgan Bowers and Destiny Yeager presented Everson, Nida and Thompson with decorated fall baskets. Everson presented the school library with the "Take Me Home, Country Roads" book and gave each student a bookmark.
Mahanes said she was excited to have Maid Silvia and her Royal Court visit Coalton School.
"This has been really cool," Mahanes said.
"This year the festival has been really fun," Bowers said. "I am looking forward to the parades and going to the carnival."
Everson and her Royal Court traveled to Graceland on the Davis & Elkins College campus for a luncheon sponsored by Valley Supply Co. Evette Lafayette and Rogers Earl welcomed those attending the event.
Chef Melanie Campbell prepared a special brunch for the occasion featuring quiche, bacon, sausage, waffles with strawberries, salad and yogurt parfaits. The younger crowd enjoyed pizza, chicken tenders and homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Minor court members said they really enjoyed the special lunch.
Flower girl Mackenzie Nicole Childers said she liked dessert the best.
"I especially liked the chocolate chip cookies," Childers said.
Audrie Grace Dyer said she enjoyed the entire lunch.
"I really liked it," Dyer said.
Jaden Faith Pratt jokingly asked this year's Woodly the Elf, Grace Demarco, when she was going to finish painting the forest.
"I still see a few leaves left to paint," Pratt told Demarco.
The Royal Trumpeters, Alex Mach, Aaron E. New and Andrew Tenney, announced the arrival of Everson and her Royal Troop at Elkins High School. New said this is his second year serving as trumpeteer.
"It is an exciting experience and I enjoy touring the schools," New said. "It is an adrenaline rush because I love to play music for others."
Members of the Elkins High School Band performed the school fight song with the Tigerettes. Student Body President Kelli Carr welcomed Maid Silvia and her court to the school. Everson and her maids of honor received Yuda bands, which are handmade in Guatemala. Members of the Future Farmers of America presented Everson with a white mum.
Everson said she was having a good time visiting with students in the Randolph County schools.
"This has been a great day," Everson said.
After leaving EHS, the group visited with students and staff of Randolph Technical Center. VICA president Caleb Stansberry and secretary Emily McAtee welcomed Everson and presented her with a handmade jewelry box.
At Midland Elementary School, Everson and her Maids of Honor were escorted to the multipurpose room, where smiling students had posters and leaves, each welcoming members of the visiting royalty. The Midland Choir, under the direction of Hollie Pritt, performed a song.
At Jennings Randolph Elementary, Tyler Davis, Griffen Westerfeld and Jared Mick met Everson and her maids of honor with fresh flowers. The trio escorted the visitors to the lunchroom.
The JRES fifth grade band and choir, under the direction of Seth Young, performed a rearranged version of a festival song created by the previous choir director, Linda Wagner.
The city school tour ended with a visit to the Randolph County Senior Center and the West Virginia Children's Home.
Karlen said he is very pleased with all of the festival events and that he believes the theme is working well.
"We wanted this festival to be seen though the children's eyes," Karlen said. "I think it is coming through. There are so many wonderful events and we want to make sure everyone gets out and has a great time."
Events for today include:
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Randolph County Senior Bazaar (Senior Center, Downtown 5th Street)
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. - Primitive Campground Exhibit (D&E College, Lower Front Field)
Noon to 8 p.m. - Mountain State Forest Festival Store (Davis Avenue, next to Armadillo Flats)
5 to 9 p.m. - Information Booth (Corner of Davis Avenue and Third Street)
5 to 9 p.m. - Mountain Weavers Guild (Elkins/Randolph County Library, Davis Avenue)
7 to 9 p.m. - Seneca Trail Artists Reception/Randolph County Community Arts Center (Community Arts Center, Randolph Avenue)
7 to 9 p.m. -Photography Exhibit/Contest (Elkins YMCA)
7 p.m. - Country Talent Show (Downtown Stage, Elkins Town Square)
Contact Beth Christian Broschart by email at email@example.com.