Welcome to the home of CoalTown, USA!
Coaltown, USA is a newly configured heritage experience dedicated to the story of the coal mining industry and the coalfields way of life. Nestled in Welch, West Virginia, the heart of McDowell County.
All Month of December
Annual CoalTown Christmas Decorating Contest, Decorate your house or business and submit a picture or video on the City of Welch Facebook page. The house with the most likes wins. Winner will be announced December 21st. Cash Prize for House division and cash prize for Business division.
CoalTown Ugly Sweater Contest, a picture of you in an ugly sweater on the City of Welch Facebook page. The picture with the most likes wins. Winner will be announced December 21st. Cash Prize for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
Call Welch City Hall for Entries and Event Tickets. 304-436-3113
Order Your CoalTown Christmas Ornament here!
1. Select the quantity of ornaments that you want to purchase.
2. Next, select add another item.
3. Select Ornament Postage.
4. Complete Customer information.
Schedule of Events
Friday, December 3, 2021
• CoalTown Christmas Bazaar 11am to 5pm at the Jack Caffrey Arts & Culture Center, 143 Wyoming St., Welch. Crafts, Jewelry, food and more.
• CoalTown Christmas Parade, Line up at 6:30 on Stewart St, Parade starts at 7:00 pm ending at Martha Moore Park. Cash Prize money for best decorated float and best decorated ATV.
• Tree Lighting directly after parade with Vendors, free hot chocolate, cookies and caroling.
Sunday, December 5th & 12th, 2021
• CoalTown Trolley Express Ride our trolley express to the Pocahontas Theatre to watch the Polar Express. $10 ticket includes ride and movie. Movie starts at 3:00pm, pick up will start at the Welch Armory at 1:30pm. Pajamas are encouraged!
Tuesday, December 7th & 14th, 2021
• CoalTown Trolley of Carols Ride the trolley around Welch and sing Christmas carols. 7:00pm Pick up at Welch Parking Building (free parking) go to Stewart Street and sing carols on the whole street. Ask Stewart Street Residence to watch for the Trolley and go outside to listen to the carolers.
Free admission but must reserve your spot on the trolley.
Thursday, December 9th & 16th, 2021
• CoalTown Trolley of Lights Ride our trolley for a Christmas light tour of Welch. Pick up at the Welch Parking Building (free parking) at 7:00pm. Route will go to Riverside Drive to old Pizza Hut, across the bypass to Virginia Ave then to Stewart Street and back to the Parking Building. Free admission but must reserve your spot on the trolley.
Friday, December 10, 2021
• FREE PICUTRES WITH SANTA from 4:00pm to 8:00pm, Jack Caffrey Arts & Culture Center, 143 Wyoming St, Welch.
Saturday, December 18, 2021
• Family Dollar/ Dollar Tree Christmas Party for Kids of all Ages – Free for all kids starting at 10:00 am. Including a special visit from Santa!
(EVENT CANCELLED) Brass Quartet, 6:00pm, Jack Caffrey Arts & Culture Center, 143 Wyoming St, Welch. Call the Commission on Aging for tickets, $10 a person. 304-436-6442
Friday, December 31, 2021
New Year's Eve 2022 Coal Drop - The City of Welch is now accepting vendors (exhibit booths include food, items for sale, informational booths, etc..). Can you sing? This is a perfect opportunity to showcase your talent! We are also inviting Local Talent to come and perform. (Karaoke or Original Music.) To sign up and for more information, contact the City of Welch at 304-436-5392 or 304-436-3113.
Make Merry in Welch!
Contests, Events & Festivities During December!
A collection of our readers favorite Christmas memories, folklore and traditions.
Submit your story for a chance to have it featured on our website or Facebook page!
Everyday is a Gift...
Submitted by: Thomas, McDowell County
Growing up, like many in our area, we were extremely poor in my very early years. We didn't have money for store-bought gifts. Sometimes I got a handmade toy but mostly a useful item like a pair of hand-me-down socks, maybe a shirt or pair of church pants. Never in my early years did my family have a Christmas tree. When I was about in the 6th grade, the teacher ask me if I would do her a favor by taking our classroom tree when school let out for the holidays. That was the one and only tree we ever had while I was home. I recall how proud we were of that tree. Mama and I colored some paper, cut it in strips and with flour paste made a chain that we strung around the tree. Mama fashioned a star out of some old cardboard and put it on top of the tree. At night she would tell me stories after she got home from cleaning the church.
Many Christmas mornings arrived bearing no gifts, I believe they were harder on my mother than it was on me. I had never had anything so I didn’t seem to know the difference until I got a little older. My friends, classmates and the kids from church all had dads around and even though none of them were well off, they had it far better than I did. My single mom and I spent many hungry days; often going to bed hungry. Thank goodness for the kindness of others and for our church family.
Despite the lean years, I still have a warm feeling and fond memories of my religious upbringing. My Christmas memories of midnight services were especially moving. The large choir sang beautiful Christmas hymns and we felt a strong sense of the true meaning of Christmas. As I got older times got better. Mom made peace with Grandma. We were able to go live with her even though we still didn’t have Christmas gifts to exchange, we had more to eat and Christmas Day was filled with relatives coming by to visit Grandma.
Maybe I did have the best of it. The material things would be gone but the Christmas times I spent at that old church and with just my mama and me have kept me grounded and those times gave me an appreciation for all the good things that come my way, no matter how small; it means a lot. Friendships and loyalties far outweigh gifts. Good health and the well being of my family are the things that make everyday special.