‘Rocket Boys’ festival revived

BECKLEY (AP) — A canceled festival that had celebrated West Virginia’s Rocket Boys is being revived in Beckley.

Organizers announced Friday that the October Sky Festival will be held from Oct. 5 through 7 on the grounds of the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine.

In February the Cape Coalwood Restoration Association canceled the festival, which has been held since 1999 in Coalwood in McDowell County.

The festival celebrates the three years, 1957 to 1960, when author and former NASA engineer Homer Hickam and his friends launched rockets while in high school. They eventually won a national science fair.

Hickam’s novel, “Rocket Boys,” is about those experiences and growing up in Coalwood. The book was adapted into the 1999 movie “October Sky.”

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