HomeEnvironmentThis small Midwestern town still crowns a Coal Queen

    This small Midwestern town still crowns a Coal Queen

    Every year in August, the small town of Marissa, Illinois, celebrates the fossil fuel that gave it prosperity: coal. The area around the town, which sits about 40 miles southeast of St. Louis, used to be known for its number of coal mines, and Marissa was considered its capital.

    The celebration, known colloquially as Marissa Coal Fest, is a weekend of carnival-like festivities. This year’s, held from August 11 to 13, included a meet-the-miner event, food stands, and a parade featuring the candidates for the coal court who were vying for the titles of Coal Princess, Coal Prince, and the Queen of Coal. 

    A sign announces Marissa’s Coal Fest, which took place August 11-13, 2023.
    Virginia Harold

    Despite there only being a few actual coal mines left in the area, coal is sacred here. An underground coal mine and power plant still employs a number…

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