Last weekend’s Friends of Coal Auto Fair in Beckley drew an estimated 100,000 people to the YMCA complex. The event continues to grow each year and is rapidly becoming a premiere event on the state fairs and festivals calendar.  Those on hand showed their support for West Virginia’s coal industry while enjoying a weekend of fun, music, hot cars and good food, headlined by the Saturday evening concert.
Organizers Jim Gilchrist, Warren Hylton and others said the event exceeded even their expectations – particularly at a time when the nation’s economy is only beginning to climb out of a recession.
This year’s concert featured Randy Owens, former lead singer of the legendary country band Alabama. Warming up for Owens was the local band Taylor Made and Chris “Abby” Abbondanza, formerly of the band Povertyneck Hillbillies.
The centerpiece of the event, as usual, was the annual “Cruise-In” Car and Bike Show. Saturday also featured a sky-diving display by the Army’s Golden Knights unit prior to the concert. Prior to the concert a video presentation by the WV Coal Association, the Friends of Coal and the Mountaintop Mining Coalition was shown and a petition circulated that asked those in attendance to show their support for coal mining, particularly the practice of mountaintop mining. The petition collected thousands of signatures over the weekend. A further update will be made available in next week’s Coal Bits.
The West Virginia Coal Association, the Friends of Coal and the Mountaintop Mining Coalition would like to thank the organizers and volunteers for making the event the success it has become.

West Virginia Coal Association - PO Box 3923 - Charleston, WV 25339 | 304-342-4153 | website developed by brickswithoutstraw