MADISON This weeks West Virginia Coal Festival is bringing hundreds to the area for fun and festive activities, but a ceremony remembering those lost to coal mining tragedies in the state since the last festival will also part of the festivals opening ceremony today at 6:15 p.m. on the front lawn of the Boone County Courthouse.
The Mines Memorial Service on the front steps and lawn of the Boone County Courthouse in Madison will include music, patriotic ceremonies and a remembrance ceremony for the six coal miners that have died in West Virginia in the past year.
The featured guest speaker will be West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
The Boone Co. Civil Air Patrol Squadron will hang the Coal Festival Flag and the Madison VFW Post 5578 will post the colors with the assistance of the Post 5578 Woman's Auxiliary.
The opening ceremonies will include lighting the flame in front of the coal miner statue on the courthouse lawn by James Jimbo Clendenen.
The Invocation and Benediction will be done by Dr. Frank Frye of the Madison United Methodist Church.
Music will be provided the Bible Baptist Church Childrens Choir & Teen Chorus of Danville, Amy Brown director.
Coal miners lost on the job over the past year will be remembered at the WV Coal Festival opening ceremonies and names read aloud.
Miners to be remembered include Clyde Dolan of Danville; Joseph Cassell of Glen Daniel; Jason Stacy of Stone Fork, Ill.; Charles M. Hall of Williamson; Charles McIntire of Shadyside, OH; and Jeremy Sigler of Pool.
Wednesday evening's activities also included the coal museum, carnival rides and games, mining equipment displays and gospel music on the main stage.
For more information on the festival, call the Boone County Development & Tourism Office at 304-369-9118 or visit the online Web site at www.boonecountywv.org