WEST FRANKFORT — Police and fire sirens blared, children raced to grab candy and thousands cheered Saturday as the annual Old King Coal Parade marched through downtown West Frankfort.
Kathy Crawford, parade organizer, said she had more than 60 entries for the parade, but that number doubled as participants showed up at the last minute.
“It’s was bigger and better than ever,” she said. “This has been a big year.”
Crawford has been organizing the parade for five years, and said now that more coal mines are opening in the area, it seems interest is increasing in the Old King Coal Festival and the parade.
Lori Koteles of West Frankfort attended the parade her with son. She said this is their third year attending and it’s a good family and community event.
“I like how they incorporate the fire trucks and police cars, because that’s what my son really loves,” Koteles said.
Debby Bandera of West Frankfort said she comes to the parade every year and it is always well-organized and busy.
The parade is something the community can always look forward to.
“It’s kind of the highlight of the year,” she said.