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West Virginia Strawberry Festival opens with coronation, lighting of torch

By Stephen Santilli, for WV News, The Record Delta

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – The 82nd West Virginia Strawberry Festival is officially upon us.

Saturday morning, at Jawbone Park, saw the Opening Ceremony, the recognition of the festival Spirit Award, and lighting of the festival torch. That evening was the Queen Gracie Marsh’s coronation and acknowledgement of her and her King, Franklin Bush, Jr.’s court, held at Wesley Chapel on the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Festival Board of Directors President Shane Jenkins welcomed everyone to Jawbone Park Saturday morning with a bright sun shining and lots of smiles to go around.

“To say I am proud of the board of directors would be an understatement. I often remind membership why we do this (Strawberry Festival). We put a lot of work into this between July and right now,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins was sure to add that the memories are made, not just by people attending the eight day festival, but also the membership and scores of volunteers who help make the West Virginia Strawberry Festival one of the best in the state.

“Our group has been challenged to create those memories. I witnessed this since 2022 when we came back strong after COVID shut us down for a year. I’ve seen what it takes to overcome one of the worst pandemics in our lifetime and I am proud of the work they have done for the past four years while I served as your President,” Jenkins said.

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