Coalwood, West Virginia

Coalwood, West Virginia - October Sky Festival
  See photos from the ninth annual October Sky Festival in Coalwood, WV, October 6, here and an article about the festival here.

2009's festival date is October 3. Please see helpful information here. Note, all general times and information remain the same for each year. See 2005 and 6's festival and more about Coalwood here. And 2004's festival is shown here.

The 5th Annual October Sky Festival was held Saturday October 4, 2003. As usual, it was a wonderful old-time fall festival with lots of fun for the whole family. Homer signed his books all day long.

The festival started at 10am at the Clubhouse. Astronaut Joe Allen helped Homer, Roy Lee, O'Dell, Quentin, and Billy greet the crowd. Singers sang the National Anthem and all gave the Pledge of Allegiance to our grand flag.

The community non-profit Cape Coalwood Restoration Association (CCRA), which maintains the town's Rocket Boys attractions, sold books, special T-shirts and caps.

The October Sky Festival is always a unique opportunity for visitors to purchase books while Homer and many of the characters in the Coalwood books are available to personally sign them!

Although the line was long for Homer, we appreciate your patience and hope all who attended the festival enjoyed the friendly people and explored the town.

Experienced members of WV's largest model rocketry club, WVSOAR, were also at Cape Coalwood to supervise rocket launchings. This is where Joe Allen spent most of the day!

Other Appalachian authors autographed and sold their books too. The members of the Coalwood Methodist Church sold their wonderful Coalwood cookbook of favorite local recipes and photos all day. There were also homemade craft items for sale and raffles for special items held throughout the day. A Ham radio club set up at and made calls to all over the US during the Rocket Boy Festival. They logged the people they spoke to and sent commemorative certificates to them.

In the Church basement could be found delicious homemade food including a fried chicken lunch with brown beans, cornbread and desserts served downstairs in the church fellowship hall. Hamburgers, cold drinks, and home- baked goodies were available to buy at various places. No one goes hungry in Coalwood! This was where "Queen Elsie," Homer's mom, held court all day.

Mack Trucks, Inc. saluted Coalwood and the "The Dreams of Boys" by building a huge 600 Horsepower, five axle Granite show dump truck for the October Sky Festival! Painted "fire engine red" it featured the Olgo Coal Company logo, listed Homer H. Hickam as operator and was named "Big Jeb" after the character in The Coalwood Way. Representatives from the company brought their museum truck and rides were given on other big Macks at the festival.

Now we're going to do it all over again on Oct. 2, 2004. Come visit us for the 6th Annual October Sky Festival! I'm sure you won't be disappointed... Homer and all the Rocket Boys hope to see you there!!!! Hotels fill up early and are an hour or more away, so consider that in your planning. Try these:

Welch, WVCount Gilu304-436-3041
Bluefield, WVHoliday Inn304-325-6170
Bluefield, WVRamada Inn304-325-5421
Bluefield, WV Econo Lodge304-327-8171
Bluefield, WV Highlander Motel304-325-9131
Princeton, WV Days Inn304-425-8100
Bluefield, VA Comfort Inn276-326-3688
Princeton, WV Comfort Inn304-487-6101
Eckman, WV Elkhorn Inn & Theatre304-862-2031

How Do I Get To Coalwood, WV?

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