A sunny sky and slight breeze graced the Davis & Elkins College Amphitheater on Friday afternoon as crowds gathered to witness the coronation of Queen Silvia LXXVI Emily McKibbin Everson.
The event began with the Presentation of the Colors by the West Virginia Highlanders of D&E, including Dr. Randy Blackburn, Charlie McElwain, Dr. Chuck Riddle and Gregg Hickman. The National Anthem was sung by the McChoir Sisters, accompanied by members of the audience, hands on hearts.
Next down coronation hill were the royal trumpeteers, Andrew Tenney, Aaron New and Alex Mach, dressed in black tuxedos.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Angie Pritt
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin crowns Queen Silvia LXXVI Emily McKibbin Everson on Friday. The festival tradition drew a large crowd of people wanting to catch a glimpse of the royalty at Davis &?Elkins College.
The Inter-Mountain photos by Anthony Gaynor
Above, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin leads Queen Silvia LXXVI Emily McKibbin Everson from the stage following the coronation ceremony during the 76th Mountain State Forest Festival Friday in Elkins on the campus of Davis &?Elkins College.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Angie Pritt
The royal jesters fly through the air as they provide entertainment to the royal court and spectators during the coronation ceremony at the 76th Mountain State Forest Festival.
The crowd applauded as Woodly the Elf, Grace Keiser DeMarco, descended the hill.
Familiar light browns and dark greens were sported by the royal scouts. Morgan Grace Barnett walked with Katherine Elise Markley, while Justin James Bibey was paired with Zachary Wade Tysor.
In formal wear, the court noblemen then walked individually toward the stage, including Sen. Clark S. Barnes, R-Randolph; Joseph Geiger, director of WV Archives and History; Sen. Walt Helmick, D-Pocahontas; Delegate William G. Hartman, D-Randolph; Judy Guye, mayor emerita of the City of Elkins; Delegate Denise Campbell, D-Randolph; Bob Tabb, deputy commissioner of the WV Department of Agriculture; Charles "Randy" Dye, director of the WV Division of Forestry; Dr. Michael Mihalyo, chancellor and provost of Davis and Elkins College; and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
Following the noblemen's descent, "West Virginia Hills" was sung by the McChoir Sisters.
The 38 festival princesses, who represent the beauty of the Mountain State's fall colors, then descended the hill, in pairs, to the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance."
Each pair of princesses wore dresses of a distinct color. Laura Brown and Toni Dilley were clad in whispering pine; Brittanie Simmons and Ashley Murray in cardinal red; Chelsea Yeager and Leslie Barton in green apple; Linlee Haddix and Eve Leombruno in purple majesty; Megan Casteel and Catherine Riggleman in fall twilight; Brittany Dobbins and Meghan Lough in sugar maple; Katie Clevenger and Chelsea Elmore in mocha frost; Farha Kahn and Andrea Warner in blue spruce; Emma Wolfe and Sarah Schmidt in rhododendron; Whitney Nestor and Katelynn Torrence in harvest wheat; Caitland Adkins and Lauren Trumble in mountain splendor; Christina Lambert and Jillian McClure in majestic ruby; Taylor Gutta and Megan Wetsel in citron laurel; Lynnlee Wileman and Kayla Workman in wild iris; Brittiny Snyder and Devon Brosh in antique plum; Emma Post and Sally Ann Miller in royal apricot; Makinsey Cochran and Emily Cline in spiced chestnut; Tiffany Stutler and Rachel Alvarez in deep river; and Corrie Burlas and Samantha Tallman in mountain thistle.
The festival's flower girls then appeared, including Hallie McKenna Martin, Presley Shae Bates, Alexis Brooke Gibson, Jaden Faith Pratt, Audrie Grace Dyer and Mackenzie Nicole Childers-Wileman.
Following the flower girls, Lt. Col. Jeremy Anfinson led the 38 Cadet Wing escorts from the WVU Air Force ROTC Detachment 915.
Lt. Col. Denzel Neal and Capt. Michael Poblocki descended the hill as the escorts to the Maids of Honor Megan Leigh Nida and Emily Jane Thompson, while Col. David Terris escorted Everson.
Five members of the Sabre Team then marched down the hill, followed by the scepter bearer, Lauren Elizabeth D'Angelo, and the crown bearer, Danica Jean-Louise Riggins.
Then it was time for Everson to make her first appearance, descending coronation hill followed by her train bearers, Carter David-Andrew Loudin and Kaleb Bryce Kennard-Terry, as she made her way toward the stage.
Following her arrival, the court jesters put on a show of tumbling and dancing down the courtyard. Sydney Paige Schumacher, Logan Elizabeth Warner and Kaci Brynn Zopp shot confetti into the air and danced with ribbons throughout their presentation.
With Everson and all the dignitaries now on the stage, Barnes greeted the audience and Geiger provided a short history of the Mountain State Forest Festival.
Tomblin was given the honor of crowning Everson. The crowning was followed by a series of presentations to Everson.
Hartman presented Everson with her sceptor, while Helmick provided the investment of the mantle of authority. Campbell presented Sylvia with her jewel, and the key to the city was given by Guye.
Dye and the royal scouts presented the queen with a tree. Everson dedicated the seedling to the local forest.
Tabb presented the scroll and Everson read the queen's proclamation.
Mihalyo followed Everson's presentation with a prayer.
Everson was then escorted across the stage by Tomblin and the royal jesters performed for her one final time.
Andrew Montgomery then sang "Silvia," written by John Angotti.
All parties on the stage made their way back up coronation hill, as the "Crown Imperial" recessional closed the 76th MSFF coronation.
The Queen's Reception followed at Halliehurst Mansion immediately following the coronation.
The coronation was sponsored by Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson, while the Queen's Reception was sponsored by Central Suypply Company. The sceptor and crown were sponsored by Sharp Jewelry.
Contact Casey Houser by email at email@example.com.