By Mary Catherine Brooks
June 16, 2022 - Mullens Opportunity Center (MOC) will host the “Coal Miners Celebration” Monday, June 20, as part of West Virginia Day activities.
Buddy Allen and The Cheat River Band, a free country dinner, along with a drawing for a West Virginia quilt will be featured.
Judy Riffe along with other volunteers from the United Mine Workers Association and Wyoming County Black Lung Association will be honoring coal miners.
A West Virginia quilt, created by Judy Riffe, will be given away during the Coal Miners Celebration drawing Monday, June 20. The West Virginia Day activities are hosted by the Mullens Opportunity Center. The quilt, which depicts life in West Virginia, is hand-stitched in the true tradition of the mountaineers that first settled in West Virginia, according to Dewey Houck, one of the organizers.
The “everything-is-free” event will begin with dedication ceremonies surrounding the seven-foot coal miner statue and his “not-so-tall, but equal” female coal miner at the Coal Miners Memorial in Mullens.
The two statues were recently placed at the memorial by the Black Lung Association.
Visitors and participants will gather at the MOC parking lot Monday at 2 p.m., then proceed to the memorial for the dedication ceremonies.
A special event is also planned at the MOC at 3:30 p.m.
Fishing and kayaking will be welcome. The biggest trout caught in the Guyandotte River, within Mullens city limits, will win a $100 bill. Rules are “catch and release” between 2 and 7 p.m.
“At 4:30 p.m., a free country/modern dinner will be served, as only Judy Riffe can pull together,” explained Dewey Houck, one of the organizers.
The meal will be served at the Mullens Opportunity Center, which is hosting all the events, Houck explained.
Buddy Allen and the Cheat River Band will take the MOC stage at 7 p.m., kicking-off their monthly summer concert series. Concerts will take place through September.
“The biggest event of the day, for most of the people, will be the drawing for the West Virginia quilt that was made by Judy Riffe especially for this event,” Houck said.
The quilt, which depicts life in West Virginia, is all hand-stitched in the true tradition of the mountaineers that first settled in West Virginia, Houck explained.
The drawing will take place during the concert.