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The annual Matewan Heritage Day, which was scheduled for May 16, has been postponed and will be held in conjunction with the annual Matewan Homecoming on Sept. 12, 2020.

MATEWAN —The Town of Matewan has postponed their annual Matewan Heritage Day, which was scheduled for Saturday, May 16, due to the remaining threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event will not be cancelled, according to Matewan Drama Group founder Donna Paterino, as the Town of Matewan Homecoming is still scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 12, and every event they were planning to host on May 16 will take place that day.

The 2020 version of the annual Heritage Day was set to be a special commemoration as it also marked the centennial of the deadly Matewan Massacre, also known as the Battle of Matewan.

“The Matewan Drama Group, Mayor Sheila Kessler and the Town Council have been looking so forward to this banner year since the inception of the Matewan Massacre Drama 20 years ago,” Paterino said. “Even though this year’s 100th anniversary commemoration had to be postponed due to COVID-19, it will be just as memorable with so many activities planned to spend the day in historic Matewan.”

Along with other activities in the planning, the Drama Group will, of course, recreate the Battle of Matewan Drama, have live music, a flea market, a vintage car cruise-in and a pork roast provided by Mingo County magistrates.

“The events of 1920 that took place in Railroad Alley in a little town called Matewan, West Virginia, was a fire starter for unions all over the nation who were building this country to stand for the labor right rights of every working man and woman,” Paterino said. “It may have taken years for the labor movement to ensure those rights, but these events played such a pivotal role in the process. We must remember their struggles and the price that was paid by our early activists. “

Anyone interested in being a part of the cast for the Matewan Massacre Drama or who wants to set up at the annual flea market can call Paterino at 304-235-0484.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.