WEST FRANKFORT, IL (KFVS) - West Frankfort, Illinois is celebrating its long history of coal mining. May 10, was the first day of the Old King Coal Festival for 2018.
The festival is held every year during the second weekend of May. The festival first began in 1941.
The longstanding tradition includes the crowing of Old King Coal, Princess Flame and her court, a coal miner's memorial service, job fair, parade, and a downtown festival filled with food, rides, games, vendors, and free nightly entertainment on the main stage.
The Old King Coal Festival is a family-friendly environment. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy West Frankfort's hospitality.
This year Bill Levanti was crowned Old King Coal. To be selected for old king coal you have to had worked in the coal mines, and that's what bill did for 30 years.
Levanti spoke about why this event is so important for the community.
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"We have a rich history of mining here in West Frankfort and its in our past but its well worth remembering,"Levanti said. "It's like having everyone home for Thanksgiving or Christmas."
He comes from six generations of coal miners.