WILLIAMSON – At a regular meeting of the Mingo County Commission Wednesday morning, Jada Hunter, President of Action in Mingo (AIM) announced the dedication of this year’s King Coal Festival to Mae Stallard.
Hunter approached the commission stating, “We are excited about some things that have developed. For instance, we are dedicating the entire festival to Mae Stallard our past president and also our founder…”
At this year’s festival, a dedication has been scheduled for Mae Stallard. “We will keep Mae’s tradition going. We want to do a presentation that day at 1 p.m. on stage,” Hunter stated.
Commission President, John Mark Hubbard stated, “Mae was a wonderful devotional writer. Unless you haven’t been living in the Tug Valley area for the past few years, you have seen something at one point in time that Mae had written… Mae was a wonderful lady, wife and mother and this community is certainly going to miss her.
The discussion continued with Hunter requesting financial assistance for the festival. Hunter explained that this year the King Coal Festival’s funding received from State Fairs and Festivals had been reduced. “I realize that you don’t have the kind of funds that you had in the past but we thought that we would come and ask for any financial assistance you could give us. We thank you for having the court house open and we will have signs to let them know they can come here to use the restroom facilities…”
The request for financial assistance was denied. Commissioner Hubbard stated, “The King Coal Festival has long been adored by not just the people of Mingo Country, but really the region as a whole. We certainly appreciate what has been done over the years to enhance the festival. Let me also say, that as a former student of Mrs. Mae and someone who had a tremendous influence in my life, I think that is a wonderful tribute to the number of years she worked for this program promoting it for the benefit of this region.”
Hubbard continued stating, “We asked you to come back to the first meeting in September. Unfortunately, I don’t think our financial situation has changed any at all, in fact, I think it might be a little worse than it was when you initially came to speak with us. We have not contributed anything to any festival this year. As much as it hurts me to say it, we can’t at this time. I hope the festival will continue to be successful. We will do everything we can as far as having a stage available and the court house will be open. We will do everything we can to assist in any way possible other than financial.”
Hunter also discussed that this year; the King Coal Festival will have a patriotic theme. “Our theme this year is going to be patriotic and we want members of the military to lead our parade this year. There is a small brass band composed of a few of the band directors in our area and a couple of other people. We are looking for a flatbed for them to ride on. The tuba player says he can’t carry it all the way through town. WE want the band to follow the military people at the beginning of the parade. Then the band directors will get back to their groups,” Hunter said.
Activities for the King Coal Festival have been scheduled for September 13 through 18.
(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.)