Glenville State University President Dr. Mark Manchin with 2018 Harrison County Belle, Connie Wolfinger.

Glenville State University President to serve as WV State Folk Festival Parade Marshal

GLENVILLE, WV – Glenville State University’s President, Dr. Mark A. Manchin, has been selected to serve as the parade marshal during the 74th West Virginia State Folk Festival that takes place in Glenville, West Virginia from Thursday, June 20 through Saturday, June 22. The parade happens on Saturday morning.

“I am beyond honored to have been selected as the marshal for this year’s West Virginia State Folk Festival parade,” Manchin said. “Some may not know this, but Glenville State has been connected with the Folk Festival since its inception back in 1950. Over the years that connection has continued and we love to see familiar faces and newcomers in town and on campus for the Festival.”

Manchin says one of his favorite parts of the Folk Festival is visiting with the Festival Belles, the charming county ambassadors from throughout the Mountain State who must be at least 70 years old, reside in West Virginia, and possess the pioneering spirit that characterizes mountain heritage.

“The Belles spend the weekend residing on our campus and we host them for a meal, and it is always a highlight of the Festival for me. These lovely ladies and their companions show what is truly great about West Virginia – its people – and I enjoy meeting and talking with them all,” he added.

Manchin hails from Farmington, West Virginia. He holds an undergraduate degree from Fairmont State College, a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from West Virginia University, and a Doctorate of Educational Administration from West Virginia University.

He has been a public school teacher, the RESA III Coordinator of Services to Business and Industry and Staff Development, Executive Director of the School Building Authority of West Virginia, Superintendent for Webster, McDowell, and Harrison County Schools, and a West Virginia State Senator. He was named Educator of the Year by the Clarksburg Exponent Telegram in 2015 and was the WV News/State Journal Educator of the Year in 2024.

Manchin began his tenure as Glenville State University’s twenty-sixth President on July 1, 2020.

This year’s Folk Festival includes all the usual fun that has come to be expected, along with a few new events. The schedule includes square dancing, folk music and singing, storytelling, a spelling bee and trivia contest, lumberjack competition, chili cook-off, pet show, quilt show, antique car show, fiddle and banjo contests, horse drawn wagon rides, and much more. Craft and food vendors will be set up all around Downtown Glenville during the Festival. For more information about the West Virginia State Folk Festival, visit or follow their page on Facebook.

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