ELKINS – Royalty is among us. Buckhannon native Caroline Fluke has been named the 84th Annual Mountain State Forest Festival Queen Silvia LXXXIV.
“I feel very honored that I was picked to do this,” Fluke said. “I can’t wait because I feel like this is a once in a lifetime experience. I’m excited to meet everyone and experience the festival with everyone else.”
Elkins and the surrounding communities are preparing to celebrate the return of the Forest Festival when the event gets into full swing this October after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
Fluke, a 2019 graduate of Buckhannon-Upshur High School, is currently registered as a licensed cosmetologist in the state of West Virginia. Her next steps include the pursuit of higher education in the field of medical aesthetician. Caroline also works in the family business, Caroline & Co., a women’s fashion boutique located in the heart of Buckhannon at 33 E. Main Street.
Within the 2022 MSFF Royal Court, there are 21 minor court members, 40 princesses, two maids of honor and one queen – Ms. Fluke. Of the princesses, three Upshur County residents will count themselves among the royal court: Brooklyn Maxwell, Brianna Barnette and Johnna Figueroa.
The festival, which runs from Oct. 1 through Oct. 9, will host the Coronation of Queen Silvia LXXXIV on Friday, October 7 at the Citizens Bank of WV Amphitheater on the campus of Davis & Elkins College. Pre-coronation entertainment and music will grace the Royal Court at 1 p.m. and the coronation ceremony will begin at 2 p.m.
Fluke said she is humbled by the amount of support from family, friends, coworkers and the Upshur County community. She thanked her extended family who are set to travel – from near and far – to the campus of Davis & Elkins College to experience this special moment with her and the other members of the Royal Court.
“Her father and I are very proud of her,” said Jennifer Fluke, Caroline’s mother. “We want her to take every moment and bottle it up because these are going to be memories that she will have forever. We think she will do a great job representing West Virginia and Buckhannon.”
During an interview with My Buckhannon Wednesday, Fluke praised the passion of Mountain State Forest Festival Board of Directors, the Queen’s Directors, General Director Robbie Morris, Fluke’s gown designer – who is creating a special surprise for all to see – and the Royal Court.
“I am excited to meet the people in Elkins and make friends with my maids and princesses – we will grow to be really close that week – and making friends along the way,” Fluke said.
Fluke will stand alongside her two Maids of Honor, Hannah Phillips and Sarah Riggleman, both of Elkins, in attendance at MSFF events beginning Saturday, October 1 through the conclusion of the festival events on Sunday, October 9. See the full list of MSFF events here.
Members of the court, the MSFF Board of Directors, parents of royalty and other guests plan to visit schools across Randolph County throughout that week, where students and faculty of each school can mingle with local royalty.
Fluke and her family invite the Upshur County community to come out to the Forest Festival to show support for a fellow Buccaneer.
Visit the MSFF website to learn more about Queen Silvia LXXXIV and exciting things happening at the 84th Annual Mountain State Forest Festival next month.