Fans of All Ages from Across the USA to Attend 2016 Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival in the Beautiful WV Mountains

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Fans of author Homer Hickam New York Times #1 best-seller Rocket Boys (book) and October Sky (movie) can launch rockets, tour a real coal mine and meet Homer Hickam, the other Rocket Boys, plus actor Chad Lindberg (who played “O’Dell” in the movie) as part of the Rocket Boys Festival in Beckley, WV Saturday October 1st. Other activities include a writer’s workshop, film festival, acting workshop, 5K run and more.

Rocket Boys Festival

One of the Festival's signature events gives students the opportunity to join Hickam and the other Rocket Boys to launch rockets at the “Cape Coalwood” launch pad.

The Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival is coming to Beckley, West Virginia the first weekend in October, just in time for peak mountain fall foliage, featuring best-selling author Homer Hickam and his fellow Rocket Boys, and special celebrity guest of honor Hollywood actor Chad Lindberg, who played Homer’s friend and fellow Rocket Boy O’Dell in the movie “October Sky.”

The Rocket Boys Festival central location is Beckley’s New River Park, which boasts an authentic exhibition working coal mine that will be open for discounted tours, taking riders on a motorized tour 1,500 feet underground. The park also features an award-winning youth museum and planetarium, great Appalachian food, a complete full size replica of a 1950’s mining town like Coalwood, a miner’s museum, and more.

Fans of Homer Hickam’s New York Times #1 best-seller “Rocket Boys” and the movie version “October Sky” will have the opportunity to enjoy free autograph signings and photo ops with actual Rocket Boys Hickam, Roy Lee Cooke, Jimmy “O’Dell” Carroll and Billy Rose as well as movie cast member Chad Lindberg.

Chad is one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood. His film and television appearances in addition to "October Sky" include lead and supporting roles in "The Fast and the Furious," "The Last Samurai," "Alex Cross," "I Spit On Your Grave," "The Rookie," "NCIS," "CSI:NY," "Cold Case," and "Law & Order: SVU."

Fans of “October Sky” can enjoy a special movie screening Friday night at the Raleigh Theater as part of the festival hosted by Chad and the Rocket Boys. Prior to the screening, Chad will conduct an informal actor’s workshop and “Inside the Actor’s Studio” Q&A session, with behind-the-scenes details on the movie’s filming and how Hollywood made Coalwood come to life on the big screen.

One of the highlights of the annual Rocket Boys Festival is the writers workshop hosted by Homer Hickam for aspiring and seasoned authors, as well as book signings from other notable writers including Bram Stoker Award winning author Michael Knost.

The Rocket Boys Festival is topped off with a huge Chili Night celebration Saturday night October 1st, which annually attracts thousands of visitors to downtown Beckley.

One of the Rocket Boys Festival signature events gives dozens of students from schools all over America the opportunity to join Homer Hickam and the other Rocket Boys to launch rockets at New River Park’s hilltop “Cape Coalwood” launch pad. Rocket kits and launch supplies will be available for sale at the festival. Construction and launch is easy – even for first timers. Students from Homer Hickam’s alma mater Virginia Tech will be there to assist.

More information on the Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival, including a complete schedule of events and lodging information, is available online at The city of Beckley is located on Interstate 64 in southern West Virginia, and is also accessible via Beckley/Raleigh County Airport and Amtrak service on the Cardinal line.

For media interview requests prior to the event with Rocket Boys Homer Hickam, Roy Lee Cooke, O’Dell Carroll or Billy Rose, or Hollywood actor Chad Lindberg, contact: Allen Media Strategies Burke Allen at (703) 589-8960 or by email burke(at)allenmediastrategies(dot)com.

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Jessica Lloyd
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