By Hayley M. Cook
WILLIAMSON - No feudin’ - just fun. That’s the slogan of this year’s 15th Anniversary Hatfield McCoy reunion festival, set to take place in Matewan.
The three-day event is being held June 20-22. The schedule has just been released, sharing the details of the events planned for each day, and it looks like there will be plenty of activities and entertainment for locals and visitors alike.
“This is a really special time for Matewan and the Hatfields & McCoys,” said Natalie Young, Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce director. “After the History Channel miniseries came a slew of cable shows hitting on what we refer to as: ‘Feud Gold’ … American Pickers, NatGeo’s Diggers and the reality show, White Lightning, to name a few. And now focus has shifted to Matewan as the winner of a statewide ‘Turn This Town Around’ campaign sponsored by New South Media (West Virginia Living Magazine), WV HUB, and West Virginia Public Radio. So I think it’s safe to say the 15th anniversary is going to be huge.”
On June 20, at noon, the vendors will be opening up shop and preparing a host of fried foods and sugary snacks that the festival is known for. There will be plenty of games and prizes to enjoy as well.
The opening ceremony, starting at 7 p.m., will mark the beginning of the fun and festivities, and a free concert starting at 5 p.m. will allow everyone to get a taste of some great country music. At 8 p.m. the band “A Mile to Nowhere” will perform.
On June 21, there will be even more live music and great vendors to enjoy, this time opening up at 10 a.m. The popular “tug of war” event will take place on this day, at 1 p.m.
Matewan Mayor Sheila Kessler is “beyond excited to see who wins this year … bragging rights last a long time!” However, Kessler notes that it is “all in good fun!” Descendants who wish to participate for the Hatfield Clan may contact Stephanie Hatfield at 304-785-0453 and descendants of the McCoy Clan may contact James Quick at 304-855-8808.
At 2 p.m. Saturday, Casey Lyn Tackett with Lyrick Promotions will be performing some country/folk music. Then at 3 p.m. Henry Johnson, also with Lyrick Promotions, will perform.
Also at 3 p.m. will be the Hatfield-McCoy parade. If you are interested in being part of the parade, you may contact Katie McCoy via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Francine Jones at 304-235-0310. Veterans, schools, classes, bands, descendants, churches, pets, and themed floats are welcome.
Living historical re-enactments will be taking place throughout the day as well. At 6 p.m. a concert featuring Kentucky’s very own Sunday Best will begin, with guest performances by McVanHat and Morgan White. Tickets, priced at $15 each, can be purchased for this concert at www.hatfield-mccoyreunionfestival.com.
June 22, will feature an outdoor church service in Matewan with a “pig-out” dinner at Wingo’s Grill afterward.
For more information on the church and gospel music, contact Josh Addair via Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/joshuaaddair. For information on the “Pig Out” contact Kathy McCoy at 304-426-4700.
On Sunday, there will be a reunion picnic at Preacher Anderson Hatfield’s cabin in Blackberry Creek that is open to all descendants and their friends.
The festival is currently accepting vendor applications, which are available through the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce, by calling 304-235-5240 or emailing email@example.com. Vendor fees are $50 per day for the three-day event. Discounts apply to local and nonprofit charitable organizations.
For more information about the event, visit the official website of the event at www.Hatfield-McCoyReunionFestival.com.