ST. ALBANS, W.Va. — A popular two-day festival returns to St. Albans this weekend.

Yak Fest will be held this Friday and Saturday along Main Street in downtown St. Albans.

The event features live music, art, food, craft beer, fishing, and other recreational activities. Tour De Coal, the nation’s largest flatwater kayak event, begins at 7 a.m. Saturday at Meadowood Park in Tornado. The 11-mile journey runs along the Coal River and concludes near the Kanawha River in St. Albans.

St. Albans Mayor Scott James said Tour De Coal has been around for years.

“They started this 20-21 years ago as a fundraiser. It’s not a race. If you want to go fast, you can go fast, but it’s turned into a 12-mile party to be honest with you. People sit along the riverbanks, hand out water, snacks, different things like that,” James said on “580 Live” with Dave Allen on 580-WCHS Monday.

Yak Fest was established a few years ago to accompany the growing crowds the city has seen in recent years. James said people travel to St. Albans from all over the country.

“We’ve had them as far away as Texas come in for the Tour De Coal. So, we usually have people from about 15 different states, of course a lot of them are right here in West Virginia, all over the state of West Virginia. It’s become a big event for outdoor enthusiasts and kayakers,” James said.

James said the festival has something for everyone, as plenty of non-kayakers enjoy the two-day event.

“There’s no charge to get in. Music is free. Obviously, if you buy something from the vendors, you’ve got to pay for that.”

Live music starts at 4 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday. Tour De Coal tickets are $30 per person. To register, visit For more information on Yak Fest, visit

Leave a Reply