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Club, Village of Coal Grove plan Family Fun Days

With only about two weeks to go until the big weekend, the Village of Coal Grove and the Coal Grove Betterment Club are gearing up for Family Fun Days. The annual event is scheduled for July 1, 2 and 3 at Paul Porter Park.

Vickie McDaniel, president of the Coal Grove Betterment Club, described the event as the biggest of the year for the village.

“It’s when the community comes together and you see people you haven’t seen all year,” McDaniel said. “They seem to have a really good time.”

McDaniel said the event typically starts out slow, with only about 500 people coming to the first night.

“Each night it builds,” McDaniel said. “The last night when the fireworks start, by 8 there are elbow-to-elbow people. When the fireworks go off, the village is full. There’s between 6,000 and 8,000 people. There’s no room to move.”

The event will kick off Thursday July 1 with entertainment from Chris Labor and opening remarks from Mayor Larry McDaniel. There will be live entertainment from 4 to 10 p.m. each night.

One of the most popular events, the cake and pie auction, is scheduled for July 3 at 6 p.m. Another one of the most popular aspects of the event is a basket raffle, which was formerly called the Chinese basket auction. Local businesses and residents have donated 160 baskets, each with have a different theme.

“They’re never the same,” McDaniel said. “We have beach baskets, car baskets. We have a kitchen basket. You just wouldn’t believe it, they’re just wonderful.”

Food vendors at the event will have fewer restrictions this year. In the past, two vendors were not permitted to sell the same type of food. This year the only restriction is that a vender cannot sell the same items the Betterment Club sells.

‘This year the park is open on the vendors and they can sell anything,” McDaniel said.

Representatives from Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital will host a health fair on the last day of the event. Screenings for blood pressure and blood sugar will be offered among other tests.

This year the club is planning to sell T-shirts. The $10 shirts come in red, blue or black and feature an image of the American flag and fireworks. The money raised from shirt sells will help offset the costs of the fireworks.

The village is paying for the fireworks, which cost over $8,000. Letters requesting donations for the fireworks were sent to local businesses.

Mayor Larry McDaniel said the village has had the event since 1976 and that it’s one of the community’s biggest events.

“We appreciate the village participating in it and all the local businesses and the betterment club for sponsoring it,” McDaniel said.

Proceeds from Family Fun Days go to the betterment club, which takes care of the village’s park and sponsors a scholarship for a high school student each year.

The schedule for Coal Grove Family Fun Days is as follows:

July 1

4 p.m. VFW, Chris Labor, Mayor Larry McDaniel

4:30 to 5 p.m. Emily Vance

5 to 5:30 p.m. Hanna Ferguson

5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Billy McDaniel

6:45 to 8 p.m. Craig Haney

8 to 10 p.m. Southern Thunder

July 2

4 to 4:45 p.m, Emily Vance

4:45- 5:45 p.m. Hanna Ferguson

6 to 7 p.m. Harmonica Club

7 to 8:30 p.m. Katie Owens

8:30 to 10 p.m. Bridget Reynolds

July 3

4 to 6 p.m. The Whipps Band

6 to 7 p.m. Cake and Pie Auction

7 to 9 p.m. The Fugitives

9 to 10 p.m. Craig Haney

10 p.m. Fireworks