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Former Eric Church lead guitarist Eldon Huff will headline the 2021 West Virginia Coal Festival on June 26.

MADISON — Organizers of the 27th annual West Virginia Coal Festival say that, through many challenges, the volunteers are responsible for making it happen once again.

“Our volunteers are responsible for doing the heavy lifting and putting in the time to make sure we are able to enjoy the West Virginia Coal Festival once again,” said President Delores Cook. “I’m so very thankful for them and all they’ve done and sacrificed.”

The event will kick off on Tuesday, June 22, and conclude on Saturday, June 26. Food and craft vendors will be on site beginning on Tuesday.

Prior to the festival, on, June 12, the selection process for choosing the festival queens will take place at the Madison Civic Center. Deadlines have passed for entry.

The 2021 West Virginia Coal Festival schedule of events

  • June 22: The Boone County Coal Heritage Museum & Arts Center will be open from 2-5 p.m. The carnival will open at 6:30 p.m. Opening ceremonies and memorial service will begin at 7 p.m. at the Boone County Courthouse courtyard. UMWA Secretary-Treasurer Levi Allen is the primary guest speaker. A memorial service for late volunteers and coal miners will be held. Following the service, karaoke will be available at the pavilion area for interested attendees.
  • June 23: The Boone County Coal Heritage Museum & Arts Center will be open from 2-8 p.m. A gospel sing will be held on the main stage with the carnival also open.
  • June 24: The Boone County Coal Heritage Museum & Arts Center will be open from 2-8 p.m. The TBA Band will perform at 8 p.m. and Wilson Fairchild at 9:30 p.m.
  • June 25: The Boone County Coal Heritage Museum & Arts Center will be open from 2- 8 p.m. The Legacy Motown Review will perform at 8 p.m. and The Swivel Rockers at 9:30 p.m.
  • June 26: The Boone County Coal Heritage Museum & Arts Center will be open from 3- 8 p.m. The Grand Parade will start at 2 p.m. and assemble at Scott High School. Danville Mayor Mark McClure will serve as the Grand Marshal. Parade marshals will include first responders from fire and medical. Following the parade, the Lincoln County Cloggers will perform in front of the main stage. Non Friction will perform at 8 p.m. and Eldon Huff at 9:30 p.m. Fireworks will conclude the festival and launch from the Benjamin Price Bridge at 11 p.m.

Cook said that producing the festival post-COVID restrictions was important to organizers. She wanted to thank all of the donors and volunteers responsible for another successful planning period.

“We have run into obstacles this year as some of our board members have faced health problems, but there has been a lot of work taken place over the last few months and we had to observe and see if we were going to open up and have festivals,” she said. “Now, I think people are excited about it coming back and we are so happy to do this for Boone County and surrounding counties. We look forward to being able to mingle, laugh and share memories while making new ones.”

Entertainment Director Bill Heaberlin said that, despite challenges facing organizers, he is proud of the talent that has been booked for the event. Heaberlin has been with the festival since the inaugural year.

“It is a Godsend to have the level of talent we have this year and everyone is cooperating,” he said. “They have made concessions to be a part of it and we are very excited about it.”

He added, “I love this and of all the 250 dates per year I am involved with, the West Virginia Coal Festival makes more of a difference to the community than any event I’ve ever been associated with. Nobody of a community this size has this and there is a spirit and camaraderie that makes a better quality of life and it is uplifting. I’m very proud to be associated with it and I am doing everything in my power to make it the very best it can be, once again.”

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at pperry@hdmediallc.com or at 304-307-2401.

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