EKY festival centered around coal

By Michelle Heron | 

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) With hundreds of layoffs recently announced and success of Jimmy Rose on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, the real meaning behind Hazard’s Black Gold Festival is on the mind of people across Eastern Kentucky.

It’s one of Eastern Kentucky’s biggest festivals and embraces the lifeblood of many families across the region.

“Coal is black, so it’s Black Gold, and it’s always supported us over these many, many years,” Coal Mining Our Future President Haven King said. Gold represents the money.

Organizers expect around 100,000 people to attend the three day event centered around an industry that continues to make headlines.

“Across the United States, I don’t think they realize what is going on in this part of the country, but we’re trying to encourage everyone to support coal,” Chairwoman of the Black Gold Festival Committee Terry Feltner said.

“Even when [Jimmy Rose] finished up last night, coal was what was on his mind. He just wanted people to know the hardships his people, his community and the coal miners are having,” King added.

Even after decades of holding the festival, organizers are always looking for ways to make the experience better.

“Every year we say we learn something that we can do to make it better. It’s taken us 33 years to learn something things,” Feltner added.

Organizers say Saturday’s parade will go on rain or shine.

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