Rocket Boys and Beckley businesses prepare for crowds - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Rocket Boys and Beckley businesses prepare for crowds

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BECKLEY (WVVA) - -

Last year's Rocket Boys Festival was cold and rainy. With warmer temperatures in the forecast, organizers are expecting thousands, and they say this year's event is bigger and better than before.

"The festival has grown expediential just in 12 short months as well.  We've added several things. We have a Down's Syndrome Buddy Walk tomorrow morning.  That's a new thing we have. There's an essay contest. We have a lot more entertainment," says Leslie Baker, Director of Operations at the Beckley Exhibition Mine and co-coordinator of the Rocket Boys Festival.

"The Rocket Boys Festival celebrates initially the book Rocket Boys and the movie October Sky, but it does a lot more than that. It really celebrates West Virginia and our heritage not only in the coal fields but the whole state," says Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys.

With the expected crowds, local businesses are expecting an increase in business.

"Everybody works tomorrow.  Waitresses, Everybody will work. We're ready. We're ready to feed a lot of people and make them happy," says Tasos Gogos, owner of Ocean Bay Seafood in Beckley.

Organizers hope the Rocket Boys Festival continues to get bigger and better.

"I hope that eventually this will become a major tourist attraction," says Hickam.

For more information on the Rocket Boys Festival,

www.rocketboysfestival.com

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