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Music festival coming to Preston County; health dept. admin says timing ‘probably not the best’

KINGWOOD — Almost 10,000 people are expected to attend a music festival at Marvin’s Mountaintop in Masontown on Sept. 16-18. 

The Preston County Commission voted in favor of granting the mass gathering permit at its most recent meeting on Tuesday. 

County Administrator Kathy Mace told commissioners the group, Resonance Music and Arts Festival, had met all of the county’s requirements except payment, which was expected on Thursday in the form of a certified check. 

Mace told The Dominion Post the festival paid $29,997 as expected on Thursday. She said the festival organizers have been “very good to work with” over the past nine months or so.

The fee was calculated at $1 a day per person on each of the three days, Mace said.

As of the commission meeting, there were still two vendors with outstanding requirements.

“But as long as they’re legitimate before the doors open, we’ll have their number,” Mace said. “If not, they’re aware that they won’t be participating.”

There will be a COVID-19 testing site and registration for vaccines at the festival, V.J. Davis, administrator for the Preston County Health Department.

He said the health department has been doing the mobile testing sites all summer and getting a pretty good number of people tested, even finding positive cases in the community. At an event at Alpine Lake, 58 people were tested. 

Davis said the timing of the festival, with cases of the Delta variant on the rise in Preston County and the state, is “probably not the best.” He said the health department was first made aware of the festival early in summer when there was a “totally different COVID environment.” 

“At this point and time there’s no state restrictions on fairs or festivals,” Davis said. “There’s really nothing we can do to keep them from having it.”

Davis said if the governor comes out with statewide restrictions the festival will have to follow whatever they may be. 

About 7,800 people have responded to the event on Facebook. There are 32 bands or artists scheduled to play over the three days.

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