MADISON — Country music legend John Anderson, whose hits include “Swinging” and “I’m just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday),” will be the featured entertainer at the 19th Annual West Virginia Coal Festival, June 19 through June 23 in Madison.
Anderson will take the stage at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21. Other hits in Anderson’s illustrious career include “Wild and Blue”, “Money in the Bank”, “Seminole Wind” “Straight Tequila Night,” and “When It Comes to You.”
In 1983, “Swinging” won a CMA award, and Anderson won the CMA Horizon Award. The timeless song was recently recorded by Leann Rimes and nominated for a Grammy, once again proving John Anderson’s track record for producing great music.
The Festival’s musical lineup also will feature The Key West Band, Savannah Jack and The Reflections.
The Key West Band and Savannah Jack will perform on Friday, June 22 and The Reflections oldies Group will be the main attraction Saturday night, June 23. The Key West Band is endorsed by Jimmy Buffet; Savannah Jack, billed as the next “Alabama,” plays a variety of music, and the Reflections’ claim to fame was their No. 1 hit, “Just Like Romeo and Juliet.” Wednesday, June 20, is Gospel Music Night, and Roger Hudson’s Karaoke Night is set for Tuesday, June 19.
“Once again, all concerts are free and we anticipate more standing room only crowds, just like past years,” said West Virginia Coal Festival President Joy Underwood.
Opening ceremonies and The Miners Memorial Service will begin at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, which is West Virginia Day. Delores W. Cook, vice president of the Festival’s Board of Directors, said Third District U.S. Congressman Nick Joe Rahall has been selected Grand Marshal for the 2012 Festival, and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has been invited to attend the Opening Ceremonies.
“This year we will stress the importance of the Coal Miner on the local economy, and keeping our miners safe,” said Larry V. Lodato, secretary and publicist for the Festival. “Coal has a dynamic impact on our local economy, and is also felt throughout the state and nation, from the deep and surface miner to the vendor who delivers a part to the job site to the manufacturer of a piece of equipment. For every coal mining job, there are six coal-related jobs, and we need to need to let the E.P.A. know we support the coal industry 100 per cent. Coal is the backbone of our economy.”
Another main attraction at the Festival is the mine machinery equipment, which is always displayed on the parking lot across from the Boone County Courthouse. James “Jimbo” Clendenen, coordinator, said vendors will be setting up their equipment on Tuesday, June 19, and they are really looking forward to another return visit to Madison.
“Many miners bring their families to the display area so they can get a look at the equipment they work on, and many people plan their vacations around the festival,” Clendenen added. “These vendors really appreciate the Madison community and how much it means to them to show off their equipment.”
Highlights of the 2012 WV Coal Festival include:
Teen, Miss Coal Festival and Celebrity Pageants:
Saturday, June 16 at 9:00 a.m. and 2 p.m., Madison Civic Center.
(Pageant coordinator: Maxine Tinnel (304) 369-6140.
Wednesday, June 20 at 6 p.m. Front of Courthouse
Miners Memorial Service:
Wednesday, June 20 at 6:15 p.m. Front of Courthouse
Gospel Music Night:
Wednesday, June 20, 7-10 p.m. on the Main Stage.
Mine Equipment Displays:
June 20 through June 23 Lot Across from the Courthouse
Coal Heritage Museum, 347 Main Street:
Open each day of the Festival, 347 Main Street
United Mine Workers Night:
Thursday, June 21 (John Anderson Concert)
Patriot Coal Corporation Night:
Friday, June 22 (Key West Band and Savannah Jack)
Saturday, June 23, at 2 p.m.
11 p.m. Saturday, June 23
Gambill Amusements Carnival
All Days of the Festival
West Virginia Music Hall of Fame Display
All Days at the Boone Arts & Heritage Center
Island Creek Model Railroad
All Days at the Boone Arts & Heritage Center
Major financial sponsors of the WV Coal Festival include the Boone County Commission (Mickey Brown, Atholl W. Halstead and Eddie Hendricks); West Virginia Legislature Fairs and Festivals Committee; Patriot Coal Corporation; United Mine Workers of America; Hobet Mining; Coal River Energy, and the Boone County Economic Development Office, along with many other businesses and individuals.