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Festival celebrating ’Rocket Boys’ held in Beckley

Oct. 05, 2012 @ 12:16 PM

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A festival that celebrates West Virginia’s Rocket Boys is being held in Beckley. 

The October Sky Festival runs from Friday through Sunday on the grounds of the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine.

In February the Cape Coalwood Restoration Association canceled the festival that had 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.”