Press Release

Historic West Virginia Town Gears Up for the 2007 “October Sky Festival” October 6th

By SpaceRef Editor
September 27, 2007
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Featuring Hometown Hero Homer Hickam, NASA Astronaut Bill Readdy and October Sky Movie Actor Scott Miles

COALWOOD, W. Va. – Best selling author Homer Hickam and the cast of “Rocket Boys” and other books in Hickam’s popular “Coalwood” series, including Rocket Boys Roy Lee Cooke, Billy Rose and O’Dell Carroll, will gather again Saturday, Oct. 6th 2007 for the annual “October Sky Festival in their hometown, historic Coalwood WV. A famed NASA astronaut and one of the stars of the movie “October Sky” (based on Hickam’s book) will also appear at this year’s festival.

October 2007 marks the 50th anniversary of the Russian Sputnik program, which inspired Hickam’s interest in rockets and the New York Times #1 bestselling book, “Rocket Boys” which became the basis for the major motion picture “October Sky”.

The picturesque town of Coalwood, located near Bluefield in the rugged mountains of southern West Virginia, is expected to play host again this year to thousands of guests from across the USA for the “October Sky Festival”. Many of the structures from 1950’s era Coalwood which were pivotal to the book and movie are still standing, including the massive miner’s clubhouse, Hickam’s boyhood home, the company store and the machine shop where Hickam and the boys received help from local mine machinists in building their rockets.

This year, NASA space shuttle astronaut Bill Readdy will also be a special guest of the October Sky Festival, signing autographs, posing for pictures and meeting October Sky Festival attendees. Readdy is a veteran pilot astronaut with three space flights and has logged over 672 hours in space. Readdy and Hickam have been friends since working together at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville in 1992.

Contact: Burke Allen, Allen Media Strategies

(703) 589-8960

[email protected]

SpaceRef staff editor.