Hatfield and McCoy Reunion Festival and Marathon

Hatfield and McCoy Reunion Festival and Marathon

Three-day weekend in early June
The Hatfield and McCoy Reunion Festival and Marathon are held annually on a three-day weekend in early June in Pikeville, Ky.; Matewan, W.Va.; and Williamson, W.Va. Events take place in all three locations. The festival commemorates a family feud that has entered American lore and has become synonymous with bitter, irresolvable conflict. The feud involved two families who lived on the Tug Fork, a tributary of the Big Sandy River: the Hatfields on the West Virginia side and the McCoys on the Kentucky side. The fight, which ran from 1878 to 1891, apparently began over property rights, was fueled by a love affair between two members of the opposing families, escalated into multiple murders, and eventually necessitated two governors summoning state militia to maintain the peace. In 2003, descendants of both families signed a truce in Pikeville, but they actually had agreed to stop fighting more than a century before.
Centerpieces of the Hatfield and McCoy Reunion Festival are a marathon and half-marathon (motto: "no feudin', just runnin'"), as well as a three-town, all-terrain-vehicle ride. Other highlights include a tug-of-war across the Tug Fork, involving descendants of the feuding clans; a live, dramatic re-enactment of scenes from the world's most famous family fight; and an annual feud-site motorcycle ride. In all three towns, live entertainment, tours of Hatfield-McCoy landmarks, activities such as a cornbread contest and pancake breakfast, arts and crafts, and dancing are offered. More than 300 runners typically take part in the running races, and thousands throng the area for the marathon and festival, which launched in 2000.
CONTACTS:
Tug Valley Road Runners Club
P.O. Box 321
Hardy, KY 41531
606-625-5092
www.hatfieldmccoymarathon.com/festival.cfm