On a warm Friday afternoon in West Frankfort, Illinois, there’s an avalanche in front of city hall.
Actually, it’s The Avalanche, a carnival ride. A dozen or more rides are jammed onto a stretch of Poplar Street and its adjacent parking lots. The area’s transformed, for a few days, into a midway filled with colored lights, music and the smell of funnel cake. It's part of the Old King Coal Festival, a tradition dating back 75 years for this small town.