From staff reports
It’s that time of year again; but this year, it’s one day early.
The 2013 YMCA of Southern West Virginia Friends of Coal Auto Fair opens today at the Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex, the first time in its 10-year history that the typically three-day fair will run for four days. Festivities kick off with a party, starting at 7 p.m. and featuring Motion Theatre and Shea. The cover charge is $5 per person, and parking will be on-site. Carnival rides are back, and unlimited ride wrist bands are available for purchase through Gambill Amusements.
Friday is Family Night. Car show opens at 10 a.m. Admission is $2. Kids 6 and under along with Boy Scouts in uniform will receive free admission.
Unlimited ride wrist bands will be available for purchase through Gambill Amusements. There will also be demonstrations, a flea market and food court. Parking will be at Beckley-Stratton Junior High with free shuttle service to the event.
The Cruise-in to Uptown Beckley begins at 6 p.m.. Evening entertainment at the complex includes Jada Vance, from American Idol, at 7 p.m. followed by a showing of “Wreck-It Ralph” at 9 p.m. In Uptown Beckley at the Word Park Gazebo, Old School Band will perform at 6:30 p.m. followed by Robbie Carrico at 8 p.m.
Saturday is Coal Miner’s Day. Car show opens at 8 a.m. Admission is $2. Kids 6 and under along with Boy Scouts in uniform will receive free admission.
The Mine Safety Competition begins at 8 a.m., former WVU basketball stand-out De’Sean Butler and WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck will be signing autographs at the Friends of Coal Ladies Auxiliary tent between noon and 5 p.m. and the Creager Tire Burn-out Competition starts at 2 p.m. Additional special guests include former WVU football coach Don Nehlen, former WVU fullback Owen Schmitt, former Marshall football coach Bob Pruett and WV Coal Association President Bill Raney. Concert gates open at 6 p.m. with the Davisson Brothers Band taking the stage at 7 p.m. followed by multi-grammy winner Travis Tritt. The night will conclude with a fireworks display at 11 p.m. Concert tickets can be purchased at www.friendsofcoalautofair.com.
Sunday is the Awards Finale. Free admission for all and parking will be on-site. A non-denominational church service will be held at 10:30 a.m. followed by the presentation of awards at noon.
Though the auto fair is held annually, the Beckley area benefits from the event proceeds throughout the year. Funds generated from the Friends of Coal Auto Fair support the maintenance of the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex along with youth programs conducted by the YMCA of Southern West Virginia. For more information on the event visit www.friendsofcoalautofair.com.