The 78th Mountain State Forest Festival has announced the selection of royal jesters Presley Shae Bates, Summer Lynn Channell, Mackenzie Faith Holland and Alli Rene Hopwood to the court of Maid Silvia LXXVIII. The four Randolph County students, having earned the distinction through an audition process, will have the honor of providing entertainment in the form of dance and tumbling throughout the festivities from Sept. 27-Oct. 5.
Bates, 12, will enter seventh grade this fall at Elkins Middle School. She is the daughter of Anthony and Krista Bates of Coalton. She is the granddaughter of Nick and Mary Phillips of Coalton, Mike and Debbie Bates of Pine Grove and DeEtta Sell, also of Pine Grove. She has two sisters, Haley and Ella.
Bates previously served as flower girl in the 76th MSFF. She is an honor roll student, EMS cheerleader and is active with Elkins Little League Softball. She attends Tumble Time Gymnastics and Phillips Chapel United Methodist Church. She enjoys dancing, swimming and tumbling.
Jesters for the 78th MSFF Royal Court are, from left, Alli Hopwood, Presley Bates, Mackenzie Holland and Summer Channell. (Submitted photo)
Channell, 12, also will enter seventh grade this fall at Elkins Middle School. She is the daughter of Jason and Stacy Channell of Beverly. She is the granddaughter of David and Judith Channell of Monterville and Lynn Asbury and Jerry Overbee of Cincinnati, Ohio. She is an honor roll student at EMS and has been dancing at Center Stage dance since the age of 2. A member of the Seneca Soccer travel team, Channell also lettered in cheerleading her sixth grade year. She tumbles at Tumble Time Gymnastics, is a member of the Humane Society Club and served as a page representative in 2013. She also enjoys playing guitar, running and kayaking.
Holland, 12, will enter seventh grade this fall at Highland Adventist School. She is the daughter of Richard Holland and Marisa Holland of Elkins. She is the granddaughter of Ralph and Connie Pingley of Beverly and the late Lunsford and Xenada Holland, formerly of Elkins. She has a twin sister, Madison, sister Bethany and two brothers, Brock and Matthew. She is an honor student at Highland Adventist. She was a competitive gymnast at Tumble Time and currently takes dance and tumbling at Axis Training. She also is a member of the Seneca Soccer Travel Team, and attends First Baptist Church. She plays piano and guitar.
Hopwood, 13, will enter eighth grade this fall at Elkins Middle School. She is the daughter of Keith and Starlette Hopwood of Elkins. She is the granddaughter of Walter and Cary Hopwood of Elkins and Marie Gothard and the late Marvin Gothard of Upperglade. She has one brother, Kole Hopwood. She previously served as Woodly the Elf in the 74th MSFF. She is an honor roll student at EMS, where she is a cheerleader, is active in band and also the EMS soccer team. She also is part of Center Stage Dance and Tumble Time Gymnastics.
This year's celebration will once again afford festival officials the opportunity to share with our community and state the important role West Virginia's natural resources play in economic development. Rich in tradition, the festival also plays a major role in the local and state economy and offers something for everyone to enjoy, such as the carnival, parades, exhibits, arts and crafts, delicious food and, of course, the royal court and coronation of Queen Silvia. For more information about the 78th Mountain State Forest Festival, visit www.forestfestival.com.