WILLIAMSON – At Thursday’s regular meeting of the Williamson City Council, Jada Hunter with the Action in Mingo (AIM) organization and Natalie Taylor and Chris Dotson with the Williamson Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) approached the council to request street closures and discuss upcoming events.
Jada Hunter, President of AIM, approached the council to discuss the annual King Coal Festival held in downtown Williamson.
The yearly King Coal Festival will be held September 14 through 17, 2017. Hunter explained the event stating, “Good evening everyone. I am here once again representing the AIM group. We are continuing the work that was done many years ago by May Stallard and many others by having the King Coal Festival. We would like to ask you once again if we may have the King Coal Festival in downtown Williamson the third weekend in September. That is the time that we have the festival every year. It will begin on Thursday with the Pet Show. It will be held at the Gazebo near the old Williamson Swimming Pool. On Friday, we will have a block party downtown. Saturday is the big all day event that involves an outdoor market. We will have vendors and music all day. We have very good country and blue grass music playing. Everyone enjoys it.
Last year, we had a group from Whitesburg Ky. that did line dancing and it was wonderful. They were fantastic! They were called the Swinging Sensations. I think all of them were seniors – good looking seniors I might add- and they dressed just fantastic and professionally. We hope to have them back again. We also had horse and buggy rides for the festival and our Christmas event. We would like to have the same thing on that Saturday. In addition, there will be games and things for the kids like inflatables and things like that. If one of the area schools are having a football game on Friday or Saturday, that will become our King Coal Bowl. On Sunday, we conclude with a community pinto beans and cornbread dinner that Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College (SWVCTC) Williamson campus sponsors. Everything is free. In addition to that, it is the gospel sing. Mike Lucas is in charge of that. We have people from all over our area and we try to showcase local talent.”
The Williamson City Council approved the rest to reserve the third weekend in September and agree with the street closures in a unanimous vote.
Natalie Taylor and Chris Dotson also approached the council to discuss upcoming events hosted by the CVB. Several events have been planned by the CVB with two upcoming events scheduled in upcoming months and several others scheduled for later dates.
“We have some events planned through the CVB and we just wanted to get some dates out there, and request streets to be closed. The first one coming up is the Night Market. We are planning on doing a Night Market on May 13. This is going to be an evening event with live music on the Mingo County Courthouse steps. We are going to have street vendors. This is to boost community spirit. We would like to close the street from Court Street to Logan Street. That block from the Coal House to the end of the Courthouse,” Taylor said.
The next one is going to be the Hatfield and McCoy Marathon. “We wanted to duplicate the market. That street is going to be closed for the marathon anyway but we wanted to do the same thing and have music. We are having a square dance and some blue grass musicians that are coming. We want to hold people in town longer in the evening. If those two are successful we will try to do Night Markets on a monthly basis throughout the summer,” Taylor continued.
Dotson discussed the scheduled musicians saying, “I don’t know if anyone in here is familiar with Apple Shop but they are the musicians that are coming in. If that is something you are familiar with, it is kind of a bigger thing to be bringing into our area. That is going to be some good music for that evening and everyone will want to take part in that.”
The council voted to approve the requests and a schedule of other upcoming events and dates was passed to Williamson City Clerk, Meredith Anderson to make arrangements concerning future planned events.
Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.