The Festival’s Board of Directors unanimously selected Brown, who resides at Wharton, for the honor.
Brown served for many years as the director of Camp Thomas E. Lightfoot, Eastern Associated Coal Corporation’s summer camp for youths, and was community relations representative for many years at Eastern Associated, now Patriot Coal Corporation.
Brown also serves on the Board of Directors of Boone Memorial Hospital and the Hygeia Facilities Foundation, and served as president of the Wharton-Barrett Little League for a quarter of a century.
Brown is a 1952 graduate of Sherman High School and a 1956 graduate of Morris Harvey College.
Brown has two daughters, Susan, a teacher at Brookview Elementary School, and Julie, a teacher’s aide at Madison Elementary School. He also has three grandsons. He was married to the former Mary Sue Williams for 55 years. Mrs. Brown passed away on Aug. 13, 2009.
“Bob has been a pillar of the community for over half a century and he has served the coal industry and his fellow citizens, not only in the Wharton-Barrett area, but all over southern West Virginia with honor and distinction,” said Larry Lodato, secretary and publicist of the West Virginia Coal Festival.
Lodato recommended Brown for the Grand Marshal’s position.
The 17th Annual West Virginia Coal Festival is scheduled for June 15-19 in downtown Madison.
The event features live concerts, pageants, miners’ memorial service, gospel music, mine equipment displays, United Mine Workers’ night, Patriot Coal Corp. night, a grand parade, the Bobby Hampton Race for the Cure, fireworks sponsored by Patriot Coal and Hobet Mining, the Coal Heritage Museum and the Pro-Am Basketball Tournament.
The Island Creek Model Railroad Club will have its model railroad system on display at the Boone Arts & Heritage Center, next to the Coal Heritage Museum on Main Street.
The free live concerts feature country music singer Aaron Tippin on Thursday, June 17; Highway 101 on Friday, June 18; and Savannah Jack on Saturday, June 19.
Major sponsors of the festival include Patriot Coal Corp., the Boone County Commission, the United Mine Workers of America, the Boone County Economic Development Office, Coal River Energy and Tyler Trucking Company.
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