Downtown streets are full of sights and sounds from the 76th Mountain State Forest Festival. The excitement is palpable in our cozy hometown of Elkins, now that it's transformation is complete as the backdrop for the fall fest.
While the weather hasn't cooperated as much as we would have liked thus far, festival participants and attendees haven't let that dampen their spirits. After all, festival only comes but once a year, so we encourage local residents to enjoy all the celebration has to offer.
When doing so, we hope they will exert caution with regard to increased traffic in the region. Motorists and pedestrians alike should proceed with care, especially as festival crowds continue to swell as the week goes on.
The additional influx of visitors also brings with it other safety concerns. By no means are we saying the armed robberies that occurred over the weekend are in any way connected to the festival. However, they serve as a reminder for local businesses to take reasonable safety precautions during this high-traffic time.
The same is true for private citizens. Don't leave valuables unattended or unsecured - whether at home or in a vehicle. Common sense - not panic - can go a long way toward helping one navigate the extra hustle and bustle the festival naturally creates.
And it's such a good hustle and bustle, too, something we need to remember as the busiest time of the week arrives. Only the mouth-watering aromas that emanate from the many food vendors that pepper festival grounds can rival the glorious smell of fall that hangs heavy in the air. Many residents have a favorite festival tradition. Among those that top the list is grabbing a corn dog at the Kiwanis Club's booth. Yummy!
Whether you are a first-time festival participant or a seasoned veteran, we hope you make wonderful memories at this year's event. Here's wishing everyone a safe, happy and prosperous Forest Festival experience.