WELCH, WV — In 2014, a small group of golf enthusiasts led by local businessman Sam Baker planned and organized the inaugural Welch vs. Gary Barrel Bowl celebration.
Originally planned to promote tourism and raise funds for McDowell County charitable organizations, the Barrel Bowl recreated the gridiron rivalry played for generations between the two schools. Now averaging over 100 golfers per year with attendance from at least 8 states The Barrel Bowl is considered the premier golf event in Southern WV. Along with Mt View Athletics, organizations including the McDowell County Animal Shelter, Anawalt Lake Kids Day, Miracle Mountain Resort, The McDowell Mission, The Commission on Aging, McDowell Sports Hall of Fame & others have divided over $50,000 in donations generated by the Barrel Bowl.
For 2020 the Barrel Bowl Executive Board, led by President Becky Riggins, has announced a new and exciting addition to the event. The Barrel Bowl golf tournament will be held on July 30 & 31, 2020 at the Princeton Elks Golf Course followed by the Barrel Ball Dinner / Dance / Celebration on Saturday, August 1st at the new Jack Caffrey Center in Welch.
“We intend to showcase the recent progress of McDowell County to our visitors in a relaxed social atmosphere while reliving times gone by in the coal fields,” says Riggins.
The Barrel Ball will commence at 6PM and include live music, great food and a host of local dignitaries including Welch Mayor Harold McBride, Gary Mayor Larry Hairston, House of Delegates member Ed Evans, Senator Chandler Swope, Members of the McDowell County Commission and others. The program will be highlighted by the formal presentation of the Barrel to the winning team. Pictures with the Barrel available to all. It is sure to be an unforgettable evening of fun and light hearted entertainment.
The 50 year reunion classes of both WHS & GHS will be offered adjoining seating and special recognition during the event. WHS 1970 contact is Kenny Wyatt. GHS 1970 contact TBD.
Please consider joining us as we celebrate our McDowell County heritage. For many years several “out of state” ex patriots have expressed interest in returning to the county. This is the opportunity. The Jack Caffrey Center has limited seating and reservations are now being accepted.
Contact Sam Baker 304-920-7283, Becky Riggins 304-887-4140 or any member of the Barrel Bowl Executive Committee. All proceeds are distributed to Mt. View Athletics and various McDowell County Charitable organizations.
Valet parking and shuttle service to be available. Dress code – prom dresses to polos. Tuxedo to t-shirt and jeans. All are welcome.
The Barrel Ball Dance Celebration will be held on Saturday, August 1st, 2020 at 6 p.m. at the Jack Caffrey Arts & Cultural Center in Welch.