WILLIAMSON – Following lengthy discussion, Mingo County Commission made several decisions concerning the area’s annual King Coal Festival.
Jada Hunter, President of the Action in Mingo (AIM) organization, requested assistance from the commissioners on several items concerning the festival. She asked the commission that the court house remain open during the hours of the festival as has been common practice during past festivals. The commission approved this request and will be open from the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of the festival.
The commission also approved the use of bleachers from the Williamson Field house for the various musical entertainment provided throughout the King Coal Festival.
In addition, Hunter’s request for the use of folding chairs was approved. “I would like to have about ten folding chairs to seat the elderly that are unable to climb the bleachers,” Hunter said.
The commission also approved Hunters request for assistance with running a tour bus for the Hatfield and McCoy tour. “It contributes to the ability to offer tourism in the area,” Hunter explained.
Hunter’s request for financial assistance was also granted. Hunter explained that the largest expense is paying the various performers that entertain during the festival. The commission approved $1,000 to be used to cover the festival’s financial costs following a discussion about the importance of the King Coal Festival to people residing in this area.
County Commissioner, John Mark Hubbard said, “The festival really promotes Mingo and the coal industry.”
Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith agreed. “Coal has been under attack. I would rather donate to the King Coal. It is important to our area,” Smith said.
The King Coal festival is a long standing tradition in Mingo County. New events are expected to be added this year. One event mentioned is a contest that requires participants to decorate an ATV to be judged. The winner of the contest will be invited to join the parade that follows the festival.
Events for the King Coal festival will begin with a beauty pageant held at the Southside Mall on Saturday, Sept., 12. All other events will commence on Thursday, Sept., 17 and will conclude on Sunday, Sept., 20. Events will include a pet show, a block party, the King Coal Bowl football game, an outdoor market, and a gospel sing. Official dates and times will be published at a later date.
Musical performances will occur throughout the festival. AIM is pleased to add local singer, Thomas White, to the line up of this year’s performers.
Vendor application forms are now available at key locations.Vendors may find applications on the King Coal Festival website, Hurley’s Drug Store, the Williamson Public Library, the Coal House, Shae’s Boutique and Tanning at the Southside Mall, the Hallmark store in Pikeville, and Valice’s Quilt shop and other locations in Gilbert.
The deadline for vendor registration forms is Friday, Aug., 28. Vendors may set up their booths between the hours of 7 to 8:30 a.m.
The festival is scheduled for Saturday, Sept., 19. from the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The parade is scheduled for 5 p.m. immediately following the festival. For more information, contact Melaine Hall at 304-426-8975, or Jada Hunter, President of AIM, at 304-235-0909.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for The Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2279.)