Martinsburg resident Emily McKibbin Everson has been selected as Maid Silvia for the 76th Mountain State Forest Festival, said Mike Karlen, MSFF director general.
The theme for this year's festival is "Magic in the Mountains." The selection of Maid Silvia has been kept confidential for months. She will visit Elkins this weekend to attend a private reception in her honor, sponsored by Graceland Inn, Restaurant and Conference Center at Davis & Elkins College.
"I feel that Emily is the right fit for the 76th Mountain State Forest Festival for several reasons," Karlen said. "Emily and her family have been attending the festival for many years, and she has been dreaming of one day being a part of our wonderful tradition. When a director general goes looking for a queen, it has to be the right fit for him and her for that particular year. I feel like this was just destiny for Emily to be the right young lady to become Maid Sylvia for the 76th Mountain State Forest Festival's 'Magic in the Mountains.' Emily is very much a people person, and she really loves being around children. I look forward to everyone having a chance to meet and spend some time with Emily and her family."
Martinsburg resident Emily McKibbin Everson has been selected as Maid Silvia for the 76th Mountain State Forest Festival that takes place Sept. 29 through Oct. 7 in Elkins.
The future Queen Silvia said, "The Mountain State Forest Festival has always held a special place in my heart. My father is originally from Barbour County and my mother's family has been attending the Forest Festival for almost 50 years."
Everson, 19, is the daughter of John M. and Linda Everson, of Martinsburg. She is the granddaughter of Mildred A. Everson, of Martinsburg, and the late Billie L. Everson and Virginia L. Long, of Martinsburg, and the late Ralph L. Long.
"It has become a family tradition on my mother's side of the family to travel to the Forest Festival every October. Since I was a little girl, we would travel to Elkins, rain or shine, and celebrate the Forest Festival and all of the wonderful festivities planned for the first weekend in October," Everson said.
The future queen is currently a junior at West Virginia University where she is majoring in exercise physiology. She is the vice president of Sigma Alpha Lambda Honor Fraternity, a community service board member of the Exercise Physiology Club, captain of the WVU Exercise Physiology Relay For Life team, a member of WVU club archery team, member of Mountaineer Maniacs and member of WVU Global Medical and Dental Brigades, where she traveled to Honduras to provide medical care over spring break. Everson also is a member of the Central Church of Christ in Martinsburg.
She graduated summa cum laude from Martinsburg High School and was a captain of the varsity volleyball team. In high school, she was a member of the National Honor Society, vice president of National Art Honor Society, member of the 24/1600 club (outstanding SAT/ACT Scores), member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, was on the Senior Homecoming Court and received a PROMISE Scholarship.
This summer, Everson will work as a lifeguard and swim lessons instructor for the Martinsburg Berkeley County Parks and Recreation. She is also an American Red Cross certified water safety instructor. Her future plans are to become a physician's assistant
Everson will be crowned as queen of the 76th annual Mountain State Forest Festival during the Royal Coronation, set Oct. 5 at D&E College. Attended by 40 princess from around the state, two maids of honor and a minor court, she will receive her crown from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in an outdoor ceremony.
"I am extremely thankful to Director General Mike Karlen and his assistant directors for bestowing this honor upon me. I look forward to working with all of the Forest Festival volunteers and help to make this year's festival a memorable and magical experience for all," she said.
The 76th Mountain State Forest Festival will be celebrated in Elkins from Sept. 29 to Oct. 7. More information is available at www.forestfestival.com or 304-636-1824.