The Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival (MSAHF) Announces Continued Partnership with BCT-Bank of Charles Town

July 26, 2023
Charles Town, WV, July 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ (OTC:PTBS) – Representatives of BCT-Bank of Charles Town joined with representatives of the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival today for a special announcement that will continue to provide a major boost to the annual Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival in their 44th year.
2023 MSAHF Presenting Sponsorship Announced

“Today marks an unprecedented occasion in the history of the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival,”  according to festival board president Susan Snowden.  “In 2019,  BCT-Bank of Charles Town stepped up to provide a major financial boost to our festival with their commitment to join our organization in promoting our rich agricultural history by becoming our presenting sponsor.  This was the first time the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival partnered with a presenting sponsor.  BCT’s roots are tied to orchardists in the Eastern Panhandle, being founded by orchardists, farmers, and local business owners in 1871. The Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival celebrates the role that apple orchards play in our past, present, and future. We believed that combining these two powerful groups whose genesis is similar would equate to success - it has and will continue to do so!”

Snowden continued by explaining the renewed partnership, “Because of BCT’s unwavering commitment over the past 4 years of both financial and people resources providing hundreds of BCT volunteers each year at festival events, the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival will offer them the recognition as the “Presenting Sponsor” of our entire festival.” 

BCT President & CEO Alice Frazier shared that she and their Board of Directors have been pleased with this partnership and the opportunity to increase the bank’s involvement in an event that has such a rich heritage. 

Frazier stated, “We shared this at our initial press conference four years ago but it bears repeating. 38 far-sighted local orchardists, farmers, and business leaders saw the need for a bank to serve as a stabilizing influence on the Eastern Panhandle. Bank of Charles Town was formed by neighbors helping neighbors. Today, 152 years later, BCT has grown to nearly $800 million in assets and employs over 130 associates in the tri-state region. After serving as Presenting Sponsor the past four festivals, we are thrilled with the opportunity the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival gave us to renew our partnership to provide continued financial and people support.”

Snowden said that the festival is blessed to not only have BCT continue as the Presenting Sponsor but many other businesses and individuals in the community who have been Major Event Sponsors for the festival weekend.  “Without all of these faithful businesses’ and individuals’ continued support, the festival would not have been able to provide this long-standing tradition in our community. The board looks forward to celebrating the 44th anniversary of the festival this fall.”

Brittany Lynn Cenate, daughter of Michael and Tracey Cenate of Charles Town, who will be crowned Queen Pomona XLIV at the opening of the 44th festival in October, was at the event today, as well as our reigning Queen Pomona Olivia Travis of Martinsburg. Cenate will reign over the annual Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival October 19-22, 2023. Board members of both BCT and the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival were also in attendance for the announcement.  The announcement was held at BCT’s main office in Charles Town.



It was 1979 in Martinsburg, West Virginia, Mr. Charles Thornton, Jr. who at the time, was manager of WEPM Radio Station, was trying to think of a community activity for everyone.  Gas prices were high and the economy was falling.  He did some research and found there were Apple Carnivals that dated back to 1896, 1909, and 1935 held in Downtown Martinsburg, West Virginia celebrating the harvesting of the apples.  They were interrupted by WWI, WWII, and the depression.  Mr. Thornton contacted local businesses and social organizations asking for volunteers to help revive the Apple Harvest Festival.  Volunteers met with Mr. Thornton and The Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival Committee was formed.

By-Laws of the MSAHF, Inc. are dated October 25, 1979.  In the By-Laws, Article I, Section 3 it states: "The fundamental purpose of said corporation shall be to promote the apple industry in the state of West Virginia, and specifically in Berkeley County, West Virginia, and associated and related industries, and the celebration of the harvest of the apples throughout the Mountain State and through efforts to generally promote the welfare in community betterment by various acts as deemed appropriate by said corporation in and for the community, in the city of Martinsburg, the county of Berkeley, and the state of West Virginia.  And further, to engage in any acts for which a corporation may be organized, including the possession of real estate and all acts connected therewith, as may be organized under the laws for such a non-profit corporation, in the state of West Virginia, and under the Code of the State of West Virginia; and to do any lawful acts that will be deemed in the best interests of the purposes of this corporation." In Article I, Section 4, it states: "The objectives of this organization shall include by not be limited to the followings: The sponsoring and promotion of an annual festival to celebrate the apple harvest in West Virginia, and particularly in the Eastern Panhandle of the State of West Virginia."
The festival is always held the third weekend in October.  The name Queen Pomona was chosen for the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival Queen because Pomona was the uniquely Roman goddess of fruit trees and orchards.  Pomona watches over and protects fruit trees and cares for the cultivation, and Pomona comes from the Latin word pomum, "fruit" specifically orchard fruit.

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About the Company

Founded in 1871, BCT - Bank of Charles Town, also known as The Community's Bank, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Potomac Bancshares, Inc. (OTC:PTBS). With approximately $855 million in assets as of March 31, 2024, the Company conducts operations through its main office, an additional eight branch offices, and two loan production offices.  BCT’s offices are located in Jefferson and Berkeley Counties (WV), Washington County (MD), and Loudoun and Stafford Counties (VA). The Bank provides various banking products and services including free access to over 55,000 ATMs through the Allpoint® network plus  another approximately 675 free access ATMs through another partnership.  The Bank provides convenient online and mobile banking for individuals, businesses, and local governments. The Bank also offers commercial lines and term loans, residential and commercial construction loans, commercial real estate loans, agricultural loans, and government contractor loans.  The Bank is also a Small Business Administration (SBA) Preferred Lender.  The Residential Lending division offers secondary market and portfolio mortgage loans, one-time close construction to perm loans, as well as home equity loans and lines of credit.  For over 70 years, BCT Wealth Advisors has provided trust services, growing into a premier financial management, investments, and estate services provider.  In 2023, American Banker selected BCT as a “Top 200 Community Bank,” an annual listing of the best performing banks in the United States with assets under $2 billion.  BCT was voted a “Best of the Best” winner in the 2023 Journal-News Readers’ Choice Awards in four categories:  Bank, Mortgage Company, Loan Services, and Financial Planning.  In 2023, 2021, 2020, and 2019 the Bank was named a “Best Bank To Work For” by American Banker.


The Company's shares are quoted on the OTC Pink Sheet marketplace under the symbol "PTBS." For more information about Potomac Bancshares, Inc., and the Bank, please visit our website at