This weekend Beckley, WV, plays host to the annual October Sky Rocket Boys Festival. Actor Chris Owen, who played Rocket Boy Quentin Wilson in the 1999 film "October Sky," is going to be in town for the festival this year.
He stopped by the WOWK-TV, 13News studios in Charleston on Thursday to talk about the experience of making the film, based on the book "Rocket Boys". The author, Homer Hickam, is a native of Coalwood, WV. "We filmed in Tennessee, so to be able to come back to where the film is really based, that means a lot," said Owen during his interview with West Virginia Tonight Live anchor April Kaull.
The actor, who also gained fame as Chuck "The Sherminator" Sherman in the "American Pie" series, will be involved in a number of activities during the festival. They include a series of rocket launches, a paper airplane flight, coal mine and camp tours, contests, lots of live entertainment, plus autograph signings and photo sessions.
In addition to Owen, the original Coalwood "Rocket Boys" are scheduled to be in Beckley. Homer Hickam, Jimmie Carroll, Billy Rose and Roy Lee Cooke are going to be on hand.
The festival runs from Friday to Sunday at Tamarack, the New River Park and the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine in Raleigh County. You can learn more at the October Sky Rocket Boys Festival web site.