ELKINS, W.Va. – The Mountain State Forest Festival Association Board of Directors has announced they have canceled the 2021 celebration.

The festival was originally scheduled for Oct. 2 through Oct. 10., but concerns about the current surge in coronavirus infections throughout the state convinced the board of directors to cancel the event for the second year in a row.

Jakeya Perrin, 2018 Forest Festival princess

The Board consulted officials from Davis Health System before making the decision but ultimately decided to put the health and safety of the community first.

With the spread of the delta variant of the virus, the community decided maintaining the festival was not worth the added stress on the hospital system and first responders that a festival-induced spike might cause.

Former Forest Festival princess and Elkins resident, Jakeya Perrin, said she is devastated that the festival is being canceled again. “I know how important it is to the town and West Virginia,” said Perrin. “I also know it’s for the best though, as we are in a time where things aren’t normal.”