Drive, Zip and Dance at this enormous (auto) Festival

What’s the entertainment equivalent of a V8 engine? The Friends of Coal Auto Fair. Look forward to incredible classic cars, rides, and concerts all weekend long!

July 14

Buckle your seatbelt. The weekend starts early at Raleigh County Memorial Airportin Beaver, home of the Friends of Coal Auto Fair.

As the workday fades with the sun, classic cars rumble past the gate at 6:30 p.m. It’s a warm-up act for tomorrow’s festivities. Park your chair and watch the show or bring your own beast. Either way, the cruise-in will jumpstart your mood like nothing else.

Friday night also calls for music. How about some doo wop with Rick K. and the Allnighters? Not bad for an early weekend. What’s more, tickets are just $5. Get yours at Little General Stores or at the gate on Friday. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

July 15

The Friends of Coal Auto Fair really hits its stride on Saturday. Hundreds of sporty cars arrive—  sometimes as much as 600. Classics, customs, tuners, trucks, and even motorcycles line up on the grass. All that gleaming metal adds up to one of West Virginia’s biggest car shows.

Anybody can enter, too. Late registration costs $35, which you can get at the gate starting at 9 a.m. on both days. Be in place before 4 p.m. on Saturday, though; that’s when major prize picks have to be submitted. Who knows, your fancy car could be eligible for sponsor trophies, plaques, or cash prizes!

Don’t own a sporty car? Not moved by the sight of an inline-six engine? Well, that’s ok (just don’t say so out loud). The fair has acres of entertainment for everybody. A zip line and laser tag course are spotlight attractions, although dozens of games and rides— like bounce houses— will be there, too. You can also tour a large flea market or browse some booths.

As for meals, there’s just one place to go: Food Vendor Alley. Bite into anything from traditional hot dogs to alligator bites, paired with an icy drink.

Once evening arrives, the show continues with country music and fireworks. This year’s lineup will feature Aaron Tippin, Clare Dunn, and Trent Tomlinson. Each one has a distinctive style, from honky tonk to blues to contemporary. Join them by the stage at 6:30 p.m.

Pay $2 at the gate for the fair. Concert passes are $20 (tickets available online).

So come on down!

It may look and feel like a festival, but the Friends of Coal Auto Fair is an enormous charity event, too. Funds go towards Hospice of Southern West Virginia, the Humane Society of Raleigh County, and the Women’s Resource Center.

That gives you an even better excuse to visit!