Statement from Mayor and Council on Modified Forest Festival Plans
May 7, 2020
The mayor and city council have released the following statement in response to the news concerning changes to plans for the 84th Mountain State Forest Festival:
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Directors of the Mountain State Forest Festival (MSFF) has announced modifications to its plans for the 2020 festival. These modifications include the elimination of the festival’s royal court and all related events and activities, including the Coronation, Distinguished Guest Dinner, Queen’s Ball, opening and closing ceremonies, and school tours.
We, the undersigned mayor and council of the City of Elkins, wish to express our sympathy and support for what must have been a very difficult decision.
We are as disappointed as anyone by these modifications, but it is difficult to see what else the board could have done, given the uncertainties posed by COVID-19. We know that this is not a decision that was taken lightly. The MSFF Board of Directors demonstrated responsible leadership by carefully analyzing the ongoing pandemic, consulting with health experts, and thoughtfully deliberating before choosing this course of action.
City officials will continue to work closely with the board to monitor the situation and evaluate what kind of event (if any) will be most appropriate under whatever conditions exist as the date draws closer.