POINT PLEASANT — Being named “the belle” leads to a weekend full of adventures at the West Virginia State Folk Festival.
Each year, one member of the Community Educational Outreach Service (CEOS) clubs in Mason County is chosen to be that belle at the folk festival which is held in Glenville.
This year’s Mason County Belle, Sharon Nibert, a member of the Pleasant CEOS, spoke about her experience at the folk festival while at a reception held in her honor.
Nibert went through her days activities while being at the folk festival, though it rained off and on throughout the weekend, her overall experience was enjoyable and memorable. She brought back memorabilia and photos with her, so her fellow CEOS members could observe them.
Nibert was escorted to the folk festival by Marsha Nibert and this year 24 belles were in attendance.
On Nibert’s the first day of the folk festival, there was a banquet held for all of the belles and in the evening they performed “West Virginia Hills” at a concert where they were all recognized.
On Saturday, Nibert explained, the belles were welcomed to be a part of the annual parade downtown. After lunch, Nibert participated in a Gospel Sing.
“I really enjoyed that, it was old songs we use to sing at church,” said Nibert.
In the evening, the belles were once again recognized at the gazebo before the cake walk commenced.
“It was interesting too, all the of the belle’s took a cake,” said Nibert.
She commented everyone enjoyed the cake walk. Nibert and her escort, Marsha, shared a strawberry shortcake.
On Sunday, after Nibert enjoyed her breakfast, she attended a church service at Joe’s Chapel. Before taking her leave of the festival, the belles had lunch at Gilmore County Senior Center.
In closing, Nibert thanked everyone who helped her during this experience and everyone who voted her as this year’s belle.
The reception, which was held at the Mason County Library, was emceed by Clinedda Austin, president of the CEOS County Council. Austin presented Nibert with a blue and gold corsage as a gift for representing the Mason County clubs.
Being a Belle can only happen once and those wishing to participate must be 70 or older.
Prior to Nibert’s presentation, Austin opened the reception with background on the folk festival. She highlighted old dance styles, such as square dancing, and commented on how it is making a come back in this day and age.
Belles of the past were in attendance and shared their experiences as well and spoke about their favorite parts of getting to be the belle.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.