MADISON, W.Va. — The 23rd Annual West Virginia Coal Festival will open June 21.
The Coal Festival will continue until June 25 making a raft of fun, entertainment and vendors available each day of the festival.
Visitors to the Coal Festival will be greeted by vendors serving up festival food favorites, carnival rides, a train display and a bicycle parade.
The Coal Heritage Museum will also be open from 12 to 9 p.m. each day during the festival.
Ira and Judy Handley have been named Grand Marshals for this year’s Coal Festival.
The Handleys started Handley Funeral Home in Danville, W.Va. in September 1967.
Delores W. Cook, vice president of the West Virginia Coal Festival noted the Handleys had, “…served Boone County and the surrounding areas with professionalism showing compassion and love during difficult times in the departure of loved ones.”
June 21 will be karaoke night at the gazebo on Main Street.
A memorial service for fallen miner 54 year-old Peter Sprouse will be held at 6 p.m. June 22 with Joseph M. Carter Jr. officiating.
June 22 will consist of a combination of a memorial service for A gospel sing will take place at the Boone County Courthouse at 7 p.m.
Thursday June 23 will mark the beginning of the entertainment. A stage will be setup on Main Street and local groups will be providing entertainment.
The schedule for the stage is as follows:
At 6:30 p.m. June 23, the Coal Field Idols will be taking the stage. Wally and Pro Show is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. Bent River will be performing at 9:30 p.m.
Friday June 24 will start with the eFanatics youth group at 5:30 with musical acts Hammer Down, Push Beyond and The Avalons following.
On Saturday June 25, will begin with the Coalfield Idol winner taking the stage at 6:30 p.m.
Ricky Cooper will take the stage at 8 p.m. and Coal Festival favorite Ronnie McDowell will take the stage at 9:30.
Immediately following Ronnie McDowell Saturday, a fireworks display will be staged.
In a recent interview with the Coal Valley News, Cook explained, “As everyone is aware, with the closing of mines and layoffs of miners, it is a trying time for everyone, both directly and indirectly. Therefore, finances have not been as good as we have had in previous years, but, with all the disappointments with the economy in our county and surrounding counties, we are still working very hard to make this 23rd Annual West Virginia Coal Festival as enjoyable and entertaining as possible.”
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]