WILLIAMSON — Corral your pigs – and hide your women! The descendants of the Hatfield and McCoy clans will be invading and descending on the Tug Valley area this Friday for a rip-roaring, knee slapping good time.
The Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce (TVCC) and the Tug Valley Roadrunner’s Club (TVRRC) are joining forces for the 14th annual Hatfield and McCoy Reunion Festival Marathon slated to be held this weekend, June 7-9. Natalie Young, the Executive Director of the TVCC and David Hatfield, the founder and President of the TVRRC, are excited to begin this year’s highly anticipated event that is expected to supersede the past 13 years.
Thus far, 800 runners have registered for the 26.2 mile Hatfield-McCoy Marathon that is rated as one of the top ten in the United States, setting a new personal record. A full-agenda of events is planned with all ages of attendees in mind, in hopes of entertaining all those who travel to the Tug Valley area to participate in the festival.
Friday, June 7, a Genealogist will be at the Righteous Brew Restaurant on 2nd Avenue in Williamson from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., conducting a free service to the public who wish to trace their ancestry. Beginning at 2 p.m. that afternoon will be the Hatfield and McCoy Narrated Bus Tour (departs from the Sycamore Inn on 2nd Ave. and Prichard Street) hosted by Hatfield and McCoy Historian, Bill Richardson. From 4 until 7 p.m. Friday evening, the registration and Marathon Pasta Dinner/Welcome will be held inside the Belfry High School Cafeteria, where runners and their family members will be treated to some good ole’ fashioned Southern hospitality along with the ever-popular Hatfield and McCoy skits. At 8 p.m. in the Belfry High auditorium, the public will be extended an opportunity to view the Mine Wars Film Fest.
Saturday morning, June 8, the Marathon runners will gather in the Food City parking lot at Goody, Ky. bright and early to start the race at 7 a.m. sharp. At 8 a.m. in downtown Williamson, the Farmer’s Market will open at the corner of 2nd Ave. and Vinson Street, near the BB&T Bank. On 1st and 2nd Ave., a variety of arts and crafts vendors as well as food vendors will be set up and ready to go by 9 a.m. Inflatables for the kids will be a popular place to be for the little ones to gather and a dunking booth will test your aim and accuracy. The Hatfield and McCoy Bus Tours will begin their historical tours at 9 a.m. and will conduct the second tour of the day from 2 until 5 p.m. If you are interested in taking a tour, you are asked to book in advance at www.hmtours.eventbrite.com.
From 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., handmade quilts and crafts will be on display inside the Mingo County Courthouse. An Antique Gun Show will share the same hours, and the firearms will be on display to the public at the Williamson Gun and Archery store, located at 165 E. 2nd Avenue. The free Genealogy services will be set up along Logan Street beginning from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., and you may also visit the Historic Coal House during these hours to view items on display and to purchase Hatfield and McCoy souvenirs and mementos. Entertainment will begin at 9 a.m. with the Hill Country Dancers taking center stage from 9:30 until 10 a.m. and again from 10:30 until 11 a.m. From 10 until 10:30 a.m. and from 1 until 1:30 p.m. will be the Wall/Devil Ance Monologues, with the Johnse/Roseanna Monologues planned for 11 until 11:30 a.m. and from 2 until 2:30 p.m. Elephant and pony rides will begin at 11 a.m. on 3rd Avenue and will continue throughout the day, and you are also invited to take a scenic airplane ride to view feud sites from the air, boarding at the Mingo County Airport.
At noon, the Wildwood Garden Club Show will begin at noon inside the Southside Mall and vocalist Kelsie May will take the stage to entertain the crowd. Entertainer Kelsie May will sing from noon until 12:30 p.m. and she will be followed by recording artist Renea Roberts from 12:30 until 1 p.m., Morgan White from 3 until 4 p.m. and the Kevin Prater Bluegrass Band from 4 until 5 p.m.
A book signing will be conducted from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in front of the Coal House and will feature authors Dean King who penned “The Feud”; Keith Davis, author of “The Tale of the Devil”; and Kyle Lovern, author of “Memories of the Tug Valley” and the series “UFO I and II”.
The Kid’s Run will be held at 2 p.m., those interested in competing may inquire for additional information inside the Coal House. The evening’s events will conclude with a Gospel Music Festival inside the Belfry High School auditorium featuring “Three Bridges”.
Sunday, June 9th, the festival will wrap up the weekend with a 9 a.m. until noon Bus Tour, followed by a Hatfield Reunion picnic scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the Hog Trial Cabin located at the foot of Hardy Mountain on Rt. 319. The McCoy Reunion is scheduled to be held at Stringtown, Ky. (Aflex) and is slated for noon. The famous feud competitive nature will finish off the day with a Hatfield-McCoy softball game that will be held on the Belfry High field from 2-5 p.m.
For more information on any of the above events, you may contact Natalie Young or Vicki Pinson at the TVCC by calling 304-235-5240.