November 29, 2022 - The city of Welch, WV will be a hub of holiday activity starting this weekend as “Coaltown Christmas” offers something for everyone.
Welch Mayor Harold McBride said in announcing the schedule of events that it’s all about tradition, family and friends.
“This is my favorite time of year,” he said. “Christmas is an especially important time in our beautiful West Virginia mountains. The Christmas Season always serves as an extra reminder cherish family and friends and keep our traditions alive.”
Welch is sponsoring Coaltown Christmas, he said, and “it gives us an opportunity to not only highlight our beautiful downtown, but also spread holiday cheer, and continue to salute our Coal Mining heritage. What better time to visit, make memories, and spread holiday cheer, than Christmas time?”
On Friday, Dec. 2, residents can shop at a Christmas Bazaar at the Jack Caffrey Arts and Cultural Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
That is a prelude to the kickoff later in the day of the festivities on Dec. 2 with the annual Coaltown Christmas Parade and lighting of the City Christmas Tree. Parade lineup will start at 6:30 p.m. at Welch Elementary School and start at 7 p.m.
Between Dec. 5 and Dec. 9, residents are urged to display favorite coal mine pictures at the Caffrey Center.
The center will also host the Coal Miner’s Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 6 to celebrate National Coal Miners Day.
Dinner begins at 6:30pm featuring traditional West Virginia food of beans, cornbread and bologna sandwiches.
After the meal, the center will host a performance of Coal Camp Memories, sponsored by McArts.
This event features a one-act play, written and performed by Karen Vuranch. Vuranch researched life in the coalfields of West Virginia by talking to those who lived in the coal camps and this one-woman performance chronicles the story of Hallie Marie Jones, a woman from a West Virginia coal camp in the 1920’s.
Vuranch has been honored by many organizations including the Tamarack Artisan Fellowship for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts in 2009 and the Corridor Tourism L Commission, receiving the Robert C. Byrd Community Service Award in April of 2005.
Other honors include the McWhorter Achievement Award from the West Virginia Storytelling Guild; Performing Artist of the Year for Tamarack, the West Virginia state arts center; the Spirit of West Virginia Award from the state tourism office; and the Celebrate Women Award from the Women’s Commission of the West Virginia Legislature for her storytelling and performances.
Homes and businesses can participate in the Best Holiday House and Business Decorating Contest. Decorations must be in place by Dec. 16 to be considered for awards. Visit the City of Welch, WV, Coal Town USA Facebook page for more details.
Children of all ages will have three opportunities to enjoy a Trolley Express ride and then watch one of the season’s favorite movies, “The Polar Express.”
On Dec. 4, 10 and 11, the Trolley Ride will start at 1 p.m. at the Welch Armory and the movie will begin at 2 p.m. at the theater.
Participants must and pay online on the CityofWelch.com website or at City Hall and choose a date to attend as seats are limited. Wearing pajamas is encouraged.
Residents can also take the Trolley Lights Tour on Thursday, Dec. 8 and Thursday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. and leaving from the Welch parking building.
The season’s activities will top off with the New Year’s Eve Coal Drop in downtown Welch. The event will feature music and conclude with fireworks at midnight bringing in the new year.
Food and street vendors are still being accepted for several of the activities, and anyone interested in participating can visit CityofWelch.com or call 304-436-5392 for more information and to register a display/booth/concessions.
Vendors featured include food, handmade arts and crafts, jewelry, cosmetics, candles, and specialty retailers will be available for holiday shopping and good food.