The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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February 8, 2013

Rocket Boys Festival planners meet

BECKLEY — Rocket Boys Festival Director Scott Hill and other local participants joined Thursday at the Red Cross for the first planning meeting of the 2013 event, which is scheduled Oct. 4-6.

Hill said they are already looking forward to another “great weekend for Beckley.”

With a year of experience under their belts, members hope to replicate what worked last year and improve on any bumps in the road.

“We’ve proved we can do it. The first year is tough, but that’s all part of it.”

Hill said his main goal for the event is to bring people who either have never been to Beckley, or people who don’t come often, and leave them thinking, “That was really fun.”

“We want to plan the adventure when they’re here.”

Virginia Tech, West Virginia University, New River Community and Technical College, 4-H, Theatre West Virginia, West Virginia Dance Company and Marshall University are just a few of the noteworthy organizations that plan on participating with the festival.

“This weekend revolves around education,” Hill said.

Several NASA representatives have already agreed to come back for 2013 to visit schools and help out with the festival.

The essay contest will be held again and fire hydrants will also be available for adoption.

Hill said folks who participated with the fire hydrant project will be given first pick for 2013.

They are also looking at scheduling a concert Friday night during the festival.

In upcoming weeks, three-person committees such as signage, parking, entertainment and publicity will be established.

Other possible activities include a drum competition, more schools having access to October Sky movie showings and street performers.

Another idea is putting a focus on McDowell County kids, as one festival planner said McDowell is the second most distressed county in the nation.

The next meeting will be held March 1.

For more information or to check out last year’s event, visit www.rocketboysfestival.com.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

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