WILLIAMSON – The weekend King Coal Festival festivities began with The Pet Show Thursday, Sept. 17th at The Williamson Swimming Pool Gazebo.
The dog winning Best in Show was “Minnie Cooper”, owned by Jessica Cooper of Belfry, Ky. and the Cat winning Best in Show was “Tye”, owner Alicia Maynard of Lenore, W. Va.
The Friday night Block Party in downtown Williamson was filled with fun for the dancers and spectators. Many people from The Williamson High School Hall Of Fame event stopped by also.
A dance contest was held every hour, with Allyssa Brooke Gannon winning the first one. Jodie Warren and Timothy Hatcher won the couples Contest, and Alene Lowe won the third dance contest!
The Lip Sync Contest was a popular event, with first and second place winners getting cash money. The first place winner was Sarah Browning and second place went to Blake Runyon. Those attending participated in three cake walks throughout the night, and the winners took home cakes donated by Food City.
Saturday morning began with The Car and Bike Show sign up from 9:00 – 12:00 p.m. and the Baby Pageant at 10:00 a.m. There was live music, food, vendors, and inflatables.
The awards were announced at 1:00 p.m. The winners were: Ann Lipps, Community Service Award Winner, for putting others first as she volunteered for many years operating the Food Bank at The United Methodist Church, directing The Baby Pageant for the King Coal Festival, and adding her assistance to various Williamson Women’s Club projects. Attorney Teresa McCune was unanimously given the Humanitarian Award for her dedication to providing upward mobility for so many high school graduates in our area by preparing them for successful acceptance to highly acclaimed universities such as, Harvard, Yale, WVU, Wheeling Jesuit, Marshall, and many others.
The Gentleman crowned Mr. King Coal 2015 was Eugene “Billy” Thorn, born and raised in Pond Creek, Ky., and an underground coal miner for 33 years. He served in The Air Force for four years and is the father of six children. Thorn’s other credits include: he is a 32 Degree Mason, Shriner, a member of Logan Street First Baptist Church, and President of the Liberty High School Reunion Committee.
Musical entertainment was provided by “The Swift River Band”, and “Blackberry Jam”. The Four Little Coal Miners contest was judged on The Court House Steps for their authenticity. Winning first place in the 2 and 3 year old division was 3 yr. old Kaden Burgess from Ransom, Ky.. He’s the son of Eric and Katrina Burgess.
Entertainment continued with Mayor Joe Ford from Yeager, WV followed by our featured entertainer, Thomas White.
The Color Guard and entire ROTC Company from Belfry High School led this year’s parade, escorted by Williamson’s finest Police cruiser and the Williamson Fire Department fleet. In addition to Miss King Coal, Stacy Cisco and many other queens from The King Coal Festival Beauty Pageant and Baby Pageant were in the parade.
One of the highlights of this year’s parade was “The Kiddie Car” brigade and their parents. This year’s Parade featured all three of our local High School Bands: Belfry High, Mingo Central High, and Tug Valley High accompanied by their band directors: Malory Williamson, Terrance Soltesz, and Thomas Jude. After the parade, “Loaded” finished off the Musical Entertainment followed by The Corn-Hole Tournament at Starters directed by Brandon Ball and Rick Wilkerson. The tournament was held in memory of Pierce Whitt.
The Festival ended Sunday, Sept. 20th at SWVCTC from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. with gospel music and the traditional Community Appreciation pinto beans, cornbread, fried potatoes and apple pie dinner sponsored by the SWVCTC Campus Director, Rita Roberson and the Williamson campus staff.
The A.I.M. Group ran out of time for their Rubber Duckie Race, and plan to have it in a few weeks starting at The Second Avenue Bridge. Tickets are $2, The winner of the Rubber Duckie Race will receive $200.
Action in Mingo (A.I.M) President, Jada Hunter said, “Attendance on Saturday was down a little this year due to other fairs and festivals in the area, but everyone attending had a great time, and many vendors did very well! A number of vendors decided not to register because of the additional $15 city tax on each vendor, but we will be discussing lowering our registration fee for next year to make it easier for everybody.”