The words “Hatfield and McCoy” have taken on national interest since the airing of a phenomenally successful mini-series on the History Channel around Memorial Day, and now the City of Logan is looking at making some accommodations to riders of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails.
Logan Mayor Serafino Nolletti said the town would start by opening up all of Stratton and Main Streets in Logan to ATV traffic. Nolletti and Police Chief E.K. Harper noted that most residents of Logan knew which areas is ATV approved, however the many visitors who come to ride the trails were unfamiliar and the current restricted parts of those streets were confusing to some riders.
The topic was one of several projects discussed during the June 12 council meeting.
“We are looking at opening up all of Stratton Street for Hatfield-McCoy” said City Attorney Kendall Partlow. “This is just consistent with what we have already done in the past.” Partlow pointed out that the town had opened up parts of those streets in 2007.
Harper said he and Nolletti had met with Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority Deputy Director John Fekete about that matter and another change — a more direct trail access by Cole Street.
Harper said that it was being researched and appeared there would only be one property owner to deal with and that owner was in favor of it.
“This is in fact the original way they wanted to place the trail connector,” Harper said.
“It is what they wanted originally, but the council back then did not want it like that,” Nolletti said, explaining that the proposed changes would make it possible for tourists to ride their machines directly from the new hotel being built across from Subway on Stratton Street directly into the town and to the trail connector.
Harper said the town was also looking into an agreement which would allow tourists to park on the state parking lot which could open up even more business in the town for tourism dollars.
The matter was approved on its first reading and a second reading will be finalized next month.
Councilman Mike Allie noted the change was thought out and functional.
“You can look at the towns of Man and Matewan and see what we have been missing out on economically,” Harper noted.
In other city news, the infamous Animal Planet Channel “Noodler” known as “Turtle Man” will not be making an appearance at this year’s Logan Freedom Festival, despite a special request.
Councilman Jay Mullins said he was only joking when he asked to see if the Kentucky Native could make a personal appearance at the Freedom fest.
City Clerk Amber Miller Viars said the famed Noodler was contacted but he wanted $10,000 for a personal appearance.
“What is Noodling?” asked one lady present, who was told it was the action of catching a fish barehanded by putting your fingers in it’s mouth. The Turtle Man has been a reality show television star on the Animal Planet show which features his unusual lifestyle.
“For $10,000 you cold get Dave Canterbury and Cody Lundin to eat maggots on stage like they do on Discovery Channel’s “Dual Survival” show one person present quipped.
Fire Chief Scotty Beckett said he had heard that Wrestling Icon Bret “the Hitman” Hart would not be available to make a personal appearance at the wrestling show this year as had been previously advertised but that he had heard other iconic wrestlers like Rick Steiner had been contacted about a personal appearance.
Miller-Viars said July 4 will be the opening night for the popular annual event with a parade featuring several floats going through town. She noted there would be prizes available in several categories as well as a grand prize for the winner. Thursday, July 5 will be the grand opening of WV Freedom Festival 2012 which will kick off at 6 p.m. Among other exhibitors will be the Extreme Motorcycle Show which will take place in the old parking garage lot across from the Logan Shrine Club.
A former Wringling Bros. Circus act known as the Dynamo Dogs will also be part of the fun, along with a talent show and a pet show.
“Ray Perry and his band will provide the back up music for one contest where you can sing and they will be your live backup band,” she added.
Festivities will run from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. that evening.
On July 6 there will be different shows up and down through town as well as different food vendors and other sellers. July 6 will also be Logan County Night. Timothy Browning and the Widowmakers will be performing along with a Crazy Car Show and a Redneck Side Band on Saturday.
Harper’s friends in the Blue Knights Motorcycle Club will be hosting a bike show on Friday. This year’s fireworks shows will be held on July 7 at 9:30 p.m. followed by a
block party from 10 p.m. to midnight. There will be two shows this year. July 7 will also see a Military Salute and organizers of the Freedom Fest are trying to get Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to make a special appearance at the festival.
J.D. Charles contributed this report