BECKLEY, W.Va. -- The 2012 Miners' Celebration is set for Thursday at Tamarack in Beckley. Representatives of the state's mining industry will gather for the conference and reception to celebrate the past, present and future of coal mining in West Virginia. Speakers will highlight successes in coalfield community development. Several awards will be presented, including a special "Spirit of the Coalfields'' award to McDowell County native and author Homer Hickam, who wrote "Rocket Boys'' and other memoirs about growing up in the mining community of Coalwood. The program will conclude with a salute to those who led the effort to build a memorial to the victims of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster. Sponsors ask that West Virginians interested in attending the free event register in advance at www.marshall.edu/ccegas.