WEST FRANKFORT — Jim Thompson of Thompsonville has been named Old King Coal for 2013 and will reign over the Southern Illinois Old King Coal Festival Thursday, Sept. 12, through Sunday, Sept. 15, in downtown West Frankfort.
Thompson’s coal mining career began in 1964. He has worked in mines for Pittsburg, Midway, Dotikki mine in Clay, Ky., and Freeman. In 1976, he became a federal mine inspector, which he did for 17 years.
Thompson will officially be crowned Old King Coal during the Princess Flame Pageant at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, in Paschedag Auditorium at Frankfort Community High School.
A spokesperson for festival said the committee “is proud to add Jim Thompson’s name to the illustrious list of hard-working coal miners who have toiled and risked their lives mining coal and were given the distinction of Old King Coal, a tradition that began in 1941 during the first Old King Coal Festival.”
The 2013 Old King Coal Festival kicks off at 1:30 Saturday, Sept. 7, with the Princess Tea at Trinity United Methodist Life Center in West Frankfort. The Princess Flame Pageant begins at 7 p.m. that evening at the high school.
Downtown West Frankfort will be bustling with activities on all four days. Free nightly entertainment on the main stage each evening will feature Third Story, Cache River Band, Egyptian Combo and the Brat Pack.
The Coal Miner’s Memorial Service is at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Coal Miner’s Memorial and Memorial Park. The Old King Coal Parade begins at 1 p.m. Saturday.
For a complete schedule of events visit www.oldkingcoal.com.
— The Southern