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MSFF Band Show may not be held in Elkins

ELKINS — Mountain State Forest Festival officials are planning to have the annual Band Field Show competition this fall — although it may not take place in Elkins.

On Tuesday, the Randolph County Board of Education voted to purchase new bleachers and a press box to create a new Elkins High School football field beside the school, leaving historic Wimer Stadium, where the bleachers were condemned in the summer of 2020, empty and unused.

The MSFF Band Field Show has taken place at Wimer Stadium for decades, but will now have to move to a different location.

“The band field show is going to happen,” Mountain State Forest Festival Executive Director Robbie Morris told The Inter-Mountain Friday. “It is a little bit in flux as to exactly where it’s going to happen. We have reserved the Buckhannon-Upshur (High School football) field in case the bleachers and everything are not completed at EHS.”

School system officials said the estimated date of completion for the EHS bleacher project is Sept. 24, and the first home football game for EHS is set to be played Oct. 1.

This year’s MSFF was originally planned to begin on Oct. 2, with the Band Field Show taking place Oct. 10. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, no firm schedule of events has yet been released, although MSFF officials are committed to having both the traditional Grand Feature Parade and the Fireman’s Parade this fall, as well as other events. This fall’s MSFF events will not feature a traditional royal court, however, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’d like to have (the Band Field Show) at the new field, but we just have to kind of wait a little while to see if the Board of Education’s plan is able to be executed and the stands are actually complete,” Morris said. “And then we have to see what the COVID rules are because the Tournament of Bands, which is the organization that judges (the Band Field Show), has rules as to the maximum-allowed capacity at stadiums for their events.

“Just like other things, we’re in flux until we see what final guidelines are. But we have both places in mind and we are going to have a band field show.”

All 2020 Mountain State Forest Festival events, including the Band Field Show, were canceled due to COVID-19.

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