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October Sky festival moves to Beckley, kicks off Friday

Courtesy photo
Homer Hickam and the rest of the Rocket Boys will be in Beckley this weekend for the October Sky Festival.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The 14th annual October Sky Festival is relocating this year from its past home in Coalwood to the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine. The festival, which runs Friday to Sunday, was inspired by Homer Hickham's memoir "Rocket Boys," which was subsequently turned into the movie "October Sky " (an anagram of rocket boys).This year's festival features all four Rocket Boys plus a rocket launch from New River Park's LaunchPad Beckley. The festivities include screenings of "October Sky" at Tamarack at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. Friday with commentary by one of the Rocket Boys. The film is free but reserved tickets are needed by calling 1-88-TAMARACK.
Opening ceremonies are 10 a.m. Saturday at the coalmine, followed at 11 a.m. by the "First Ever West Virginia State Championship of Paper Airplane Flight." (Entry fee of $2 per person.) The rocket launch takes place at 1:05 p.m.That evening, events move to uptown Beckley for the Annual Chili Night starting 6 p.m. with the Rocket Boys as judges. For the full schedule, visit
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