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MSFF continues with tours, talent

October 6, 2010
By ANTHONY GAYNOR and ALEC RADER, Staff Writer

Musical performances, cheers and plenty of big smiles greeted Maid Silvia LXXIV Meredith Orndorff and her royal court as they continued visits to businesses and schools Tuesday. On the second day of tours, the entourage stayed close to Festival City and took in lunch at Graceland Inn.

"I think things have gone really well so far," MSFF Executive Director Renee Heckel said. "All the events have been well attended."

Orndorff and Maids of Honor Sarah Talbott and Ellyson Schumacher made their first stop at Citizens Bank of West Virginia where they were welcomed by the staff in the lobby. Bank President Bill Johnson presented each member of the royal court with Viva Bead rings and earrings in the colors of a kaleidoscope.

Article Video

Trumpeteers play at Third Ward Elementary

The group also had the opportunity to view the bank's festival display created by the Maple Leaf Society. The display features court costumes from the 2000 festival when Schumacher was a flower girl. Her dress is part of the display.

The group then made its way to North Elementary School where students had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the royal court.

Whitney Wilson, a third-grader at NES, said her favorite part of the festival is "the crowning of the queen."

Article Photos

A GIFT FIT FOR A QUEEN — Maid Silvia LXXIV Meredith Orndorff, center, opens a gift presented by Third Ward Elementary School. The school was just one of many stops Orndorff made Tuesday with her court, front row, from left, Train Bearer Tyler Hamrick, Flower Girls Hannah Haddix, Phoebe Riddle and Lauren Wilmoth, Crown Bearer Anna Crum, Scepter Bearer Sophia Gillispie and Flower Girl Addison Huffman; second row, Maids of Honor Sarah Talbott and Ellyson Schumacher. (CU and The Inter-Mountain/Grant Jones) © The Inter-Mountain, all rights reserved.

Orndorff presented Wilson and her classmates with bookmarks. In return the court was treated to a performance by the school choir singing the "Star Spangled Banner" and "Hymn of the Republic." Orndorff was presented with a leaf cut candle basket and a scarecrow. Flower girl and NES student Lauren Wilmoth was presented with a gift basket.

At Coalton Elementary School, the choir performed. Orndorff and her maids of honor were presented with Coalton cookbooks.

At Third Ward Elementary, the royal court was treated to songs performed by the student body. Orndorff received local Alpaca yarn and knitting supplies, and a donation to Camp Pioneer in her name. The maids of honor were given flowers and several members of the minor court also were awarded gifts.

The group then traveled to Elkins Middle School where they were greeted by the EMS student council and escorted to the gymnasium. There, the court was treated to a performance from the EMS choir. The school made a $50 donation in Orndorff's name to the United Way of Randolph County.

Eighth-grade student Kathlyne Simmons enjoyed the visit from Orndorff and her court. Coronation is one of her favorite parts of the festival, Simmons said.

"I like coronation and the good food at the carnival," she said.

For nearly the past decade, Joyce Allen has hosted the maid's luncheon at Graceland Inn on the campus of Davis & Elkins College. Allen, a D&E board of trustees member, said the lunch is important because it is the first gathering of festival week. She knows the pivotal roll the college plays in the festival and loves to welcome the festival board, directors and court to campus.

At the Randolph County Technical Center, Orndorff was presented a handmade jewelry box designed by Mill and Cabinet instructor Ronnie Cutwright and built by students. Cutwright said that anytime something such as a jewelry box is constructed, it can be tricky to piece together. The students had fun making it, however, according to Cutwright.

At Elkins High School, the band and choir performed for the visiting royalty. EHS Principal Dave Fincham said the student council made a donation to the Randolph County Humane Society in Orndorff's name. The school's FFA also presented Silvia with a giant chrysanthemum and an autumn door hanging.

The choir at Midland Elementary School performed two songs for the court and presented Maid Silvia with a locally made basket filled with local goods and a silver picture frame. The maids of honor also were presented with picture frames and pictures of them with their parents.

Students played banjos, mandolin and dulcimer and sang "Country Roads" at Jennings Randolph Elementary. Students then presented a Maggie Jarrett print of West Virginia symbols to Orndorff.

The royal court then made its way to the Randolph County Senior Center. Executive Director Becky Poe said the seniors gathered a basket of items from the Senior Center Bazaar and presented it to Orndorff.

Orndorff was greeted by staff and residents at the West Virginia Children's Home and was presented with a handmade quilt. The court was treated to finger sandwiches, cake and punch.

The MSFF will continue today with the Randolph County Senior Center Bazaar opening at 9 a.m. The bazaar features several items made by area seniors. Quilts, candy, jelly, jams, baked goods and wood crafts are among the items.

"We had a really big crowd yesterday in spite of the rain," Poe said on Tuesday. "The seniors are doing really well. We are looking forward to the rest of the week."

A nearly packed auditorium turned out for the MSFF Variety Talent Show Tuesday at Elkins High School. A total of 19 contestants competed

Winners in the Adult Division were amy Straughn of Elkins, first place, Michael Bonnet of Elkins, second place, and Amy Kittle of Belington, third place.

Winners in the Teen Division were Madeline Humphry and Caleb Waybright of Elkins, first place, Loren Godfrey of Clarksburg, second place, and Lindsey Paul of Charleston, third place.

Winners in the Children's Division were Savannah McAlister of Beaver, first place, and Morgan McCollam of Elkins, second place.

Also at 9 a.m., the Primitive Campground exhibit will open on the lower front lawn on the campus of Davis & Elkins College.

The Seneca Trail Artist Guild Juried Art Show will open to the public at 6 p.m. at the Randolph County Community Arts Center. The Photography Contest will open at 6:30 p.m. in the Elkins-Randolph YMCA.

The Country Talent Show will be on the downtown stage at the Elkins town square at 7 p.m. today. In case of rain, the show will be moved to the Elkins High School Auditorium.

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