The 2019 Rocket Boys Festival in Beckley was supposed to be the last of the gatherings to celebrate the books of Homer Hickam. However, the coronavirus outbreak changed things in the minds of the festival organizers.
During previous events, the festival involved opportunities to see Beckley’s exhibition coal mine and to see model rockets being shot into the sky. Before that, the festival was centered in the tiny town of Coalwood, W.Va. in McDowell County where Homer grew up and the book was set. This year’s event will be quite a bit different.
All events and programs surrounding this year’s festival will be done virtually. The event will run Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, October 27-29. Participants can join Homer and others via Zoom for a variety of workshops and events.
Hickam is a noted author with a number of books to his credit. Rocket Boys is probably his best known work which was made into the hit movie October Sky. Homer will lead several creative writing workshops and have motivational discussions with youngsters, largely aimed at encouraging them to pursue their dreams and their education.
The Zoom information is posted at www.rocketboysfestival.com . The Zoom meetings start Tuesday at 11 a.m..