There will be one rally in Racine in Boone County.
And then there will be another near Holden in Logan County.
Red vs. Blue.
Left vs. Right.
For 70 years most Democrats in southern West Virginia knew where they were going to be on Labor Day. They would gather in Racine for the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) Labor Rally.
The annual event has played host to many local, state and national Democrats, especially in election years. The 2004 event attracted Democratic presidential candidate and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.
But this year, there's competition.
A coalition of employers, coal mine operators, businessmen, elected officials and national figures calling themselves "Friends of America," are hosting a day-long event, concert and rally on a reclaimed coal mine site on 22 Mine Road near Holden.
"The Friends of America rally is about standing up for our freedoms, our families and the American way of life,” said Democrat Art Kirkendoll, president of the Logan County Commission, in a prepared statement.
The Friends of America Rally will have as its special guests, Fox News commentator and syndicated radio host Sean Hannity, country music legend Hank Williams Jr., and conservative and gun rights activist and rock legend Ted Nugent, who will serve as the event's emcee.
The rally is being sponsored and funded by Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. The Logan and Mingo county commissions are also sponsors.
Talkline radio host Hoppy Kercheval interviewed Blankenship on Tuesday about the event. He asked Blankenship what the message would be at Holden.
"I think the message is that American workers are being squeezed from every direction," Blankenship said. "On the left side of the isle they are being squeezed by excessive regulation and work rules. On the right side of the isle they are being squeezed by free trade exporting jobs to China. At some point the American worker, American prosperity and the American way of life must be supported. That's what this is about. We're sort of caught between one side trying to regulate us out of business and the other side trying to export us out of business."
Blankenship said there will be a stark contrast between Holden and Racine.
"Essentially, there's a belief of those on the middle to the left that the EPA and the government are doing their jobs, unless the government's job is to make us more dependent on foreign energy, unless the government's job is to export our jobs, unless the government's job is to increase pollution in the atmosphere around the world, while proporting to be improving it. I think they are doing a bad job," he said. "We heard too much that the 'enviros' are doing their jobs but in fact it is costing our jobs.
"We're getting too far on the side of environment extremism and too much away from what has made America great. Coal, the workers and industry is what made America great."
Having Nugent, Hannity and Williams Jr., will help get the conservative message out, Blankenship said.
"This will give us the publicity and will help us get the message out," he said. "The people who attend will hear our side of the story, which they are not getting out of our media. We will also be able to get some coverage on a national scale about issues like cap-and-trade and energy independence which are key to household budgets and to national security."
The conservative website wvared.com says the rally will draw big crowds in the thousands to Holden.
"One has to assume that organizers of the Labor Rally in Racine are concerned that the Friends of America Rally will cause low attendance at their event. In recent years the biggest name on the agenda was Joe Manchin, who is probably too closely aligned with big business interests for most liberal pro-union Democrats. The lack of attendance from big name Democrats could spell doom for the Racine rally this year. Pictures from last year’s event show how sparse attendance. Names like Hank Williams, Jr. and Ted Nugent are likely to draw large crowds from the southern West Virginia mountains and coal fields," the website writes.
But not everyone is welcoming the event or the invited guests or speakers.
An on-line writer for wvablue.com, wvared.com's liberal counterpart, was not that impressed.
The blogger wrote, "In an attempt to combat what he wrongly cites as out-of-state activists fighting MTR (mountain top removal), AP reports Don Blankenship is bringing in out-of-state GOP hacks and washed-up musicians, along with an out-of-country global warming denier of questionable credibility. And then the anti-union folks wrap the whole thing, held on an MTR site, up in a fake 'Labor Day’ message about workers. Massey supporters told Daryl Hannah and James Hansen to 'go home' and leave the issue to West Virginians. Will they say the same to Long Island Sean? Oh, and let's not forget what kind of scum this supposed 'American icon' Nugent is."
Friends of America rally organizers expect the crowd to be in the thousands.
Hannity is scheduled to speak at the event as well as global warming critic Lord Christopher Monckton, a former science adviser to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The event is free and open to anyone.
Food and drinks will be provided by area vendors.
"We're going to allow the communities to benefit from this," Blankenship said on his radio interview. "We're going to allow schools, cheerleading groups, basketball teams and football teams and so forth to have stands where they can make enough money to support their academic or athletic programs. We think this will create a windfall for the area school systems and organizations. Of course, we'll be footing the bill for the entertainment."
The event is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. on Labor Day and end at 8 p.m.
To get tickets visit the official website at: friendsofamericarally.com.