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Dave Lavender: October Sky/Rocket Boys Festival starts Friday

Oct. 02, 2013 @ 11:21 PM

October is here and with it those brilliant October skies and still warm near summer-like temps.

Enjoy the best of both worlds with a little weekend Dave Trippin’ down to the New River Gorge where Beckley is the new host to the October Sky/Rocket Boys Festival. It runs Friday through Sunday, Oct. 4-6, at Beckley’s New River Park, which is home to the famous Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine.

There’s a slew of cool things happening including on Friday, morning screenings at Tamarack of the famous “October Sky” film (based on the Homer Hickam memoir, “Rocket Boys” about the budding rocket scientist growing up in Coalwood, W.Va.).

At 5 p.m. Friday, the best-selling author, Hickam, will have a one-hour writers workshop at Tamarack, and an hour actor’s workshop by Chris Owen who was in the movie.

The Raleigh playhouse hosts the workshop and then movie screening at 6 p.m. Friday, and at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys and Doug and Shelley Harper are in concert at the Woodrow Wilson auditorium in Beckley.

Saturday events move over to the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and River Park. The fest starts at 8 a.m. with educational booths, arts and crafts, food and more. Tours of the mine begin at 9 a.m., at 11:30 a.m. it’s the second annual West Virginia State Championship paper airplane flight, and at 1:35 p.m., a rocket launching.

And that all gets topped off with a full day of live music as well on Saturday with such local talents as Lady D, Jeffrey Joe Trio, Kayla Slone, Del Shatley and others.

On Sunday, Coalwood is not forgotten as at 9 a.m. motor coach tours leave from Tamarack and return at 4 p.m. Cost is $29.99 and $14.99 for students. Call 1-88-TAMARACK for more info.

Dave Lavender is the author of “Dave Trippin: A Daytripper’s Guide to the Appalachian Galaxy of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.” He covers regional travel. Follow the H-D reporter on Facebook or Twitter @DaveLavenderHD.



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