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CoalFest: Brilliant celebrates its coal mining heritage

BRILLIANT — Each year, the Marion County community of Brilliant pays tribute to its roots in the coal mining industry with a free festival filling the downtown area with two days of family fun.

Set for May 24-25, 2024, CoalFest offers live music, games, a look into the coal mining days, activities for children, arts and crafts and more throughout Main Street in downtown Brilliant.

(CoalFest Facebook)

Coalfest kicks off May 24 around 5 p.m. with live music from Area 51 Memphis Band, Lloyd Moses and Mike Mayhall and Friends. The festivities continue at 8 a.m. May 25 with family-friendly activities and more live music. Activities include a coal mining exhibit, car and tractor show, horseshoe tournament, a motorcycle ride to raise funds for a local family in need, arts and crafts and a kid’s area with games and rides.

Saturday’s musical lineup includes Lee Roy ParnellThe Georgia Thunderbolts and Jeff & Jordan. The two-day event typically wraps up around 5 p.m.

As music fills the air, festival goers can learn about the early history of coal mining in Brilliant with a guided tour of the historic Train Depot located in City Park (donations accepted). Brilliant Methodist Church on Main Street will also be open for tours. A stop on the North Alabama Hallelujah Trail, Brilliant Methodist Church was built by local coal miners and remains an iconic cornerstone of the town.

Shuttle service will be provided free of charge from the downtown area to City Park, Brilliant Methodist Church and the Train Depot. Admission to the festival is free. A nominal fee is charged to participate in some of the children’s activities.

For more information, call 205-465-2281.

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