CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The annual October Sky Rocket Boys Festival, celebrating Homer Hickam's book and the movie it inspired will take place in various Beckley locales again this year, after moving there from Coalwood last year.It starts with a 9 a.m. Friday screening of "October Sky" at Tamarack (free but tickets required; call 88-TAMARACK), and also that day is a 7:30 p.m. concert with Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys, the Jeffrey Joe Trio and Doug and Shelley Harper at the Woodrow Wilson Auditorium (tickets $15).Actor Chris Owen, who played Quentin in the film, is featured in a Q-and-A actor's workshop at the Raleigh Playhouse and Theater starting at 6 p.m. Friday and leading into a screening of the movie, introduced by the real Rocket Boys, at 7 p.m. (Admission $10; call 304-763-7059.)Events Saturday move to the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, where gates open at 8 a.m. They include live music and the West Virginia State Championship Paper Airplane Flight at 11:30 a.m., followed by rocket building workshops and launches. Events shift to uptown Beckley at 6 p.m. for the annual Chili Night.
The festival concludes Sunday with a motor coach tour to Coalwood, departing Tamarack at 9 a.m. and returning at 4 p.m. ($30 adults, $15 students; call Tamarack).Visit www.rocketboysfestival.com
for complete details and more on ticketed events.