Centennial Plans Scatter Programs Over County
By. L. F. Addington
From The Coalfield Progress, March 15, 1956

    The County Centennial Board of Directors at its meeting last Friday evening, announced that the All-County Band Festival, a part of the Centennial program, would be held at Big Stone Gap, Saturday, May 5.
    The Band Festival committee reported that the bands, some 400 members when combined, will parade through the town during the morning, go to the ball park for a combined concert in the afternoon, and stay in town for a social function after dinner.
    Rev. Lowell Hunt, of Norton, chairman of the ministerial committee, reports that the work on the union service program is progressing well. He says it is the aim of the committee to give every religious creed and race an opportunity to participate, either by active appearance or attendance. The details of this program will be available soon. The date will be July 22, Sunday afternoon.
    July 28 will be designated as Governor’s Day. Governor Thomas B. Stanley as accepted an invitation to make an address at the Wise Court House, at which time a painting of Governor Henry A. Wise, for whom the county was named will be unveiled and presented to the court. Governor Chandler, of Kentucky, has accepted the invitation to be present. Other governors will let officials of the Centennial program know soon, whether they can be present.
    Following the programs of the Governor’s Day, will be the Governor’s Ball, which is in charge of K. P. Asbury. In conjunction with the festivities a Centennial square dance will be held, too.
    The dedication of the new U. M. W. hospital in Wise, will take place in May, and the occasion will be in calendar of the Centennial.
    At Big Stone Gap a celebration will take place on the 4th of July. Also in this town the annual Singing Convention day, it is hoped, will be a part of the Centennial calendar.
    Labor officials are planning a big Labor Day celebration at Appalachia, and they say they will be happy to join hands with the Centennial program and make of it a climax to the long series of programs over the county.
    It is planned that the crowning of the Centennial Queen, be staged at Coeburn. This no doubt will be a highlight of the entire series of festive activities.
    Pound will give one day to a historical program and parades. They are now building a local museum of pioneer relics. And this would be good for each town to do also.
    The various garden clubs are interested in launching a campaign to beautify the whole county. It is hoped also, that some type of flower show may be scheduled before the festivities close. It can be said here, too, that all the women’s clubs heartily desire to join hands in this beautification project. Also they voice their enthusiasm in taking part, wherever they may be of service.
    St. Paul is contemplating a program which, like many of the features of the series, is incomplete, as yet.
    But it is certain that the Centennial Celebrations belongs to everybody. And in some way everybody can contribute, either in time, assistance money or encouraging the programs which have been projected.
    The Centennial Committee would have been pleased to have a session of the pageant, the chief feature perhaps of the Centennial in each town. But requirements of the John B. Rogers Producing Company for a central location, with stadium close by, a gymnasium floor and shelter in case of rain, narrowed the possibilities to one place, which fitted the requirements. That place as agreed upon, will be Norton.
    And suffice it to say, that the Norton city council as well as the civic clubs, long before this decision, voiced their desire to cooperate to the fullest, regardless of the town chosen as the pageant site. The pageant dates are July 23-28.
    And now, let us all join hands in making the entire program the best Wise County, as a unit, can put on. Let’s make people who come to visit old friends, or people who may stop over while touring the area, feel they are welcome and well entertained.
    Let us not forget that such a great undertaking requires advanced funds. The Board of Directors estimate that a budget of $10,000 will be necessary. It is hoped that this amount can be raised in the sale of stock. When the program is over, the stockholders themselves may decide whether they are to be refunded the amount of their stock, if sufficient funds are made by ticket sales to the events, have it pro-rated if there are not enough funds; or give it to charity.   
    The Board of Directors has decided that funds, if any, above the amount raised by the sale of stock, will be used to help indigent children, through the welfare agencies of the county and town schools.

Centennial Calendar

    To be revised weekly, as new events may be added, and corrections may be made in any dates:
    May 5 – All county Band Festival, Big Stone Gap
    May 12 – Dedication Wise Memorial Hospital, with Centennial theme.
    May 31 to June 1 – Wise County high school commencements with Centennial theme.
    July 4 – Centennial Celebration, Big Stone Gap
    July 20 – Crowning Centennial Queen, Coeburn
    July 21 – Crowning Centennial Queen, Coeburn
    July 22 – Countywide union religious service, with outstanding visiting speaker and big union choir.
    July 23-28 – Centennial Pageant, Norton Municipal Athletic field.
    July 28 – Governor’s Day, unveiling of painting of Governor Henry Alexander Wise, and Governor’s Ball.
    September 3 – Labor Day celebration, Appalachia, with appropriate program as climax to Centennial.
    ????? – Centennial program, St. Paul
    ????? – Singing convention, Big Stone Gap
    ????? – Railroad Day
    ????? – “Shave ‘em Off” day
    ????? – Centennial Welcome to Old Timbers, home for the celebration.

A Big Welcome

To Wise County Old Timers
and Former Residents
whether they live in nearby Kentucky
or as far away as California.
You Helped to Make Wise County What It Is Today
-    Come Back And Enjoy It –

Look over the Wise County Centennial Program

And Pick Out the Days You Will Want to be Back
The Sooner You Come BACK  HOME – And the Longer Stay – The Better

Be Sure You Are Here For

All County Union service July 22
Dr. J. N. Hillman, Speaker
Old Timers Day, July 26, 27, 28

We Can’t Tel You All About It Here

You Must Come and See For Yourself
Get the Centennial Spirit – Whiskers and All
You Will Thrill at the Centennial Welcome

Wise County Merchants Extend

BIG WELCOME TO OLD TIMERS and Former Residents
Stick Around Awhile
You’ll Get Young Again

Big Stone Centennial Boosters

Southwest Oil Company

Coeburn Centennial Boosters

Farmers Exchange Bank
Buchanan Furniture Company
Lone Star Service Station
Lambert’s Pharmacy
Coeburn Produce Company
The Racket Store
Crescent Printery
Three Way Motel
Lonesome Pine Drive-In Movie
Lay’s Hardware & Furniture Company
Federated Store

Norton Centennial Boosters

Holcomb’s Esso Servicenter
Wise Insurance Agency
Virginia Oil Company
Southwest Distributing Company
Norton Esso Station
Old Dominion Power Company
Hotel Norton
Norton Insurance Agency
The Jewel Box
Greever Motor Sales
Quality Distributing Company
Liberty Café
Royal Laundry Company of Norton
Minor-Hagy Funeral Home
Norton Grocery Company
The First National Bank of Norton
Poston’s Service Station
Witt Motor Company
Sharpe’s Office Supply
Gulf City Service Station
Norton Pharmacy

Pound Centennial Boosters

People’s Bank of Pound
Pound Esso Station
Federated Store and Men’s Shop
Pangle’s Department Store
O’Dell Funeral Home
Pound Hardware and Furniture Company
Mick or Mack Super Market
Mullins Garage

St. Paul Centennial Boosters

St. Paul Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Tri-County Tire Service
Bolton Brothers (City Services, District)
Deen’s Department Store
St. Paul National Bank
St. Paul Hotel
Clinch Motors, Inc.

Wise Centennial Boosters

Wise Nash Sales
The Esso Corner
First National Bank of Wise
The Inn at Wise Court House
Perry’s Pharmacy
Baker Funeral Home
Gulf Service Center (Collins & Asbury)
Beaty and Company
J. A. Davis and Company


April 12, 5 p.m.        Big Stone Gap Post Office Program

May 5            Band Festival, Big Stone Gap
June 10            Singing Convention, Big Stone Gap
June 16            2:30 Girl Scouts Meeting, High Knob
June 30            Pound Parade
July 4            Celebration, Music and Dance, Appalachia
July 18, 2:30 p.m.    Flower show, Wise, at Club House
July 20            Crowning of Centennial Queen, Coeburn
July 21            St. Paul Program – Old Time Music Festival
July 22, 7:00 p.m.    All-County Union Vesper Service, Norton, Dr. J. N. Hillman, Speaker
July 23-28        Pageant at Norton Ball Park
July 23-28        Artmobile Show over County
July 25, 3:00 p.m.    Old Time House Raising, Camp Bethel, Wise
July 26            Barbecue, Country Club, Railroad Executives and guests
July 27            Norton Flower Show
July 27, 4:00 p.m.    Film on mining, “Your Buddy’s Keeper.” Norton, J. I. Burton High School, free
July 28, 3:00 p.m.    Hon. Thomas B. Stanley and other governors will speak at Wise Courthouse
July 28, 9:00 p.m.    Governor’s Ball – J. J. Kelly High School
The Pageant will be preceded each evening with a prologue.
Prologue, July 23    Appalachia, music and presentation of town’s governing body
Prologue, July 24     Big Stone and East Stone music and presentation of governing bodies,  costume parade.
Prologue, July 25    Coeburn, music, presentation of governing body, parade of Brothers of  the Brush, Whisker Shaving contest
Prologue, July 26    Pound, music, presentation of governing body, presentation of highest ranking railroad officials and guests present.
Prologue, July 27    Norton, Wise and Miners Program, music, presentation of governing bodies, Bureau of Mines will put on a dust explosion show.
Prologue, July 28    Introduction of Wise County governing body, St. Paul governing body and visiting State Governors.
September 3        Labor Day Celebration, Big Stone Gap
Other special events are being planned. Let us know of any programs which might be worked into the calendar. The Boy Scouts will participate each evening in doing honors to the flag and the Pledge of Allegiance. U. S. Bureau of Mines will set up and supervise first aid station.
July 26-28        Will be especially designated as “Old Timers’ Day.”

Return to Wise Co

Copyright Notice
All files on this site are copyrighted by their creator. They may not be reproduced on another site without specific permission from Vickie Sturgill Stevens  Although public information is not in and of itself copyrightable, the format in which they are presented, the notes and comments, etc., are.