(Click YakFest images and Links to see YakFest Websites)
The Mayor of St. Albans, Scott James, reports that the City of St. Albans has joined with the Coal River Group to host a new event during the highly popular Tour De Coal.
The Mayor says, “We are excited and pleased that the Coal River Group has agreed to join with the City of St. Albans to create what we think will be a huge new river-based event called YAK FEST.” The hundreds of participants who support the Coal River Group’s highly popular 12-mile community float trip, the Tour De Coal, bring many additional visitors every year to the City. “The Tour De Coal is a major fundraiser for the non-profit group,” says Bill Currey, Chairman and originator of the Tour De Coal event. “Over 1000 paddlers participated on the river in the event in 2017 but many thousands more people come to support the paddlers and cheer them on as they float down the river route,” added Currey.
The new YAK FEST will be hosted by the City of St. Albans and provide a variety of entertainment options for the TDC visitors and families. The Mayor says, “We plan to create a major Pre-Tour de Coal event in our Old Main Plaza business district.’ ‘We expect to have music, art, food and craft beer available to all the visitors on Friday and then during the river float on Saturday, June 16, 2018, we will be hosting a major downtown-based rib fest, more music and a major display of kayak and river-based vendors showing off the latest in water craft, paddle boards, fishing kayaks and fishing gear. “
“Many of the plans for the YAK FEST are still a work in progress,” says Mayor James. “We will be announcing all the events, exhibitors and entertainers as they are confirmed,” he stated. The City plans include opening more riverfront view spaces for visitors to the Loop on the TDC day. “We are planning a major announcement regarding a park along the river and more projects to show off and develop our position as the Gateway to the Coal Rivers,” adds James. The Mayor went on to say, “We are a river community and we want to treat the Tour De Coal visitors and kayakers to an example of old fashioned, down-home hospitality. “
“The Coal Rivers are the Flatwater Heaven for new tourists who are growing in numbers every year,” says Bill Currey and “we are pleased that the City of St. Albans has recognized the potential for growing tourism around the Kayak movement and the YAK FEST will add a major new event during the Tour De Coal. The event draws many people from throughout the tri-state region including the families of the expected 1,000 Kayakers. The new YAK FEST will offer many new reasons for all the visiting folks to enjoy the St. Albans restaurants, the revitalized loop and the entire St. Albans area.”