The 79th Annual Mountain State Forest Festival is upon us. The next two weeks are filled with activities for folk of all ages and interests and lead up to the coronation of Maid Salvia LXXIX, Madeline Hope Ross, and the revelry of festival weekend October 2nd-4th. However, beyond the coordination and grand feature parade, there are some events unique to the Forest Festival that we here at Elkinite want to highlight (in no particular order).
1. Irish Road Bowling
Originating in county Cork and county Armagh in Ireland, Irish Road Bowling involves hurling a small cannonball down the road and attempting to cover the course of approximately 1.2 miles in the fewest number of throws. During the Forest Festival, teams of four compete to cover the course on Georgetown Road in the fewest number of throws. Interested in trying it out? Gather your team and meet Saturday, September 26th at 1:30 PM on Georgetown Road (Follow the signs to get there). Cannonballs can be rented for $5.
2. Hot Dog Pig Racing
This needs no explanation. Venture down to Elkins City Park Thursday, Friday, or Saturday (October 1st-3rd) to witness the spectacle.
3. Championship Lumberjack Contest
What would the Forest Festival be without a showcase of lumberjack skills? Venture down to the Davis & Elkins College Amphitheater on the early morning of Saturday, October 3rd for a display of skill and strength. The contest includes chain saw, axe throwing, two person crosscut saw, Jack and Jill crosscut saw, Jill & Jill crosscut saw, a tree felling contest, and a wood chopping contest. Registration is at 7 AM and the contests begin at 8 AM.
4. Primitive Camping
Between the vendors in City Park and the events on the campus of Davis & Elkins College it’s easy to miss the folks camping out on the front of the college campus. Drop by September 30th through October 3rd to say hello and learn some history.
5. 10K Run & 5K Run/Walk
Put on by the Randolph County Roadrunners with some help from the Davis & Elkins College cross country team, the course starts in downtown Elkins heads out Georgetown Road and back into town. There will be cash prizes for the male and female 1st and 2nd place winners, age group awards, and a free one mile kids run after the start of the 10K. Registration is $20 and opens at 10:30 on Sunday, September 27th. The race starts at 12:30.
6. Chainsaw Carving
Head to Elkins City Park October 1st-3rd to witness the incredible work of Andy Kerns.
7. Strong Man
Think you’re the strongest man of the forest? Join folks at 12 PM on Saturday, September 26th at Wimer Field in South Elkins for a test of strength.
8. Yuengs & Wings
Head to downtown Elkins for a chicken wing cook-off Saturday, September 26th at 5:30. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. There will also be live music throughout the event. It’s hard to pass up an event as lively and tasty as this.
8. Bass Fishing Classic
The event has already passed for this year, but what’s better than a friendly competition to finally prove to your friends that you actually caught the biggest fish? The DJ Rogers Memorial Bass Fishing Classic challenges folks to troll the waters of the Tygart Valley River for some big fish worth bringing to weigh in downtown in front of a crowd.
What would the Forest Festival be without bagpipes ? Now that I think about it, what would Elkins be like without them? The West Virginia Highlanders of Davis & Elkins College will be in full force throughout the festival playing for the Queen and the community. You’ll hear them long before you see them.