Wed, Jan 17, 2018 07:18 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-06-13 communities
Festival begins today
Lilly Adkins

STREETS WERE CROWDED with people enjoying the activities and entertainment at last year's Hatfield and McCoy festival. (click for larger version)
MATEWAN, W.VA. Those looking for a weekend getaway that includes entertainment, fun for the family and a good wholesome environment at little or no cost can find it this weekend in Matewan or Williamson in West Virginia.

The Hatfield-McCoy Reunion Festival and the Colgate Country Showdown begin today, Friday. From today through Sunday in Matewan and Williamson, festivities will include a variety of activities, free entertainment and a chance to be discovered for some lucky contestant.

Major festival activities include a free concert by Marlow Tackett, the Colgate Country Showdown country music contest, an ATV Poker Run, Golf Tournament, Car Show, Cruise In, Gospel Sing, Marathon, Street Fair, a Tug of War contest between descendants of the feuding families and much more.

"This is going to be a great festival with lots of top-notch entertainment and fun things to do," festival organizer Bill Richardson said. "We're especially excited about having Marlow Tackett and the Colgate Country Showdown. These will be two fantastic shows that are completely free to the public."

The Colgate Country Showdown is reportedly one of the largest country music competitions in America and has been responsible for discovering LeAnn Rimes, Martina McBride, John Michael Montgomery and many other country stars, Richardson said.

The contest will include 14 acts competing for a chance to win $100,000 and a Nashville recording contract with Lyric Street Records.

Three Eastern Kentucky acts are in the contest Endless Highway of Louisa, Kimberly Deel Jones of Pinson Fork and Glen Simpson of Hardy.

Richardson said the judges of the contest will be from other areas and unfamiliar with the people and the area and would have the background to make an educated choice on the talent.

The contest has three levels local, state and national competition.

The Hatfield McCoy Marathon will also take place during the festival. The 26-mile marathon and 13-mile half-marathon will include runners from as far away as Kenya and Germany. This is quickly becoming one of the premier events of its type in the country and local entrants can still register as late as today, Richardson said.

"I knew we would have a lot of good talent, we are talking top quality," Richardson said. "There were originally more entrants, but we had to narrow the field because it will take four hours for the 14 entrants to give their performance. Each person who entered originally, submitted a tape with two songs on it and we narrowed it down to 14 people because that was as many as we could handle in the time period available."

Events will begin today at 6 p.m., continue all day Saturday and end Sunday at 4 pm.

For more information and a complete schedule of activities call 304-235-0370 or 304-426-4239.

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