Many times I hear people in the region say there is nothing to do in the Tug Valley area.
However, there are always many events going on in the spring, summer and early fall months, such as festivals and reunions.
The annual Girls Night Out event is Friday, April 1at the Williamson Fieldhouse. This party is held by the Williamson Woman’s Club and the proceeds go to the Tug Valley Recovery Shelter.
Hillbilly Days in nearby Pikeville, Ky. will be April 16th, 17th and 18th. There is something for everyone with 100s of food and craft booths, a huge carnival, and music throughout the town. Hillbilly Days offers loads of fun for all participants and will celebrate 37 years in April.
The annual Matewan Massacre Reenactment will be held in downtown Matewan on Saturday, May 21st. Local actors portray the key figures in the famous gunfight that happened May 19, 1920. Each year in May, the town celebrates Heritage Day with entertainment in Matewan’s plaza and a re-enactment of the Matewan Massacre, a shootout between UMWA miners and Baldwin-Felts detectives.
The celebration takes place downtown with street vendors, plays and scavenger hunts.
The annual Hatfield – McCoy Marathon is Saturday, June 11th. This event attracts runners from all across the country and has continued to grow each year into one of the top running events in the state.
The Hatfield-McCoy Reunion in Matewan is the same week, June 7th to the 11th in downtown Matewan. This is an event that shares our local heritage in regards to the famous feud.
The Devil Anse Trail Connector official opening day will be on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30th in Matewan. This trail opens up several more miles of ATV trails and connects with Gilbert.
Many local folks, and many who have moved away, come back to the area for various school reunions.
Here are a few of those dates:
• July 8th and 9th, The annual Chattaroy Junior High School reunion will be held Friday and Saturday, July 8 and 9. The event will be held at the Chattaroy Church of God picnic shelter.
• August 5th ,6th and 7th,The annual Nolan Grade School and Community Reunion will be held on Friday and Saturday August 5th and 6th at the Muncy Stage in Nolan beside the railroad crossing. More info will be released at a later date.
• September 16-17-18, The Chattaroy High School All-Class Reunion will be held the weekend of September 16th, 17th and 18th this year.
• September 23 -24, The All-Class Williamson High School reunion will be held the weekend of September 23rd to 25th.
The annual Homecoming Celebration for the town of Delbarton is Labor Day Weekend. That is September 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. This is a popular event for Burch High School graduates and those who lived on Pigeon Creek and in Delbarton while growing up in Mingo County.
The annual King Coal Festival will be held on the same weekend as the Chattaroy High School All-Class reunion September 16th to the 18th. As usual there will be plenty of food and craft booths, as-well-as local entertainment at this event.
The Williamson High School Athletic Hall of Fame has still not solidified the date for that event. More information will be released at a later date.
The 2016 National Trailfest in Gilbert, will be October 6th to the 10th. For more information contact the Gilbert CVB and Town Hall at (304) 664-3477.
So with the economy in a slump, vacations may not be affordable this year. However, you can find plenty of things to do in the region in 2016.
If your community or school is planning an event or has the dates scheduled for a certain event, drop me a line via e-mail and I’ll include it in our community calendar and in a future column.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern)