This year’s Rosie Rally Home Front Festival on Aug. 10 in Richmond will have a slightly different theme.
As in the past, the city’s signature event — from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way S. — will honor the women who blazed a new trail when they entered the industrial workforce at a time of national need. But the scope this year will expand to take in everyone who had a role in the World War II home front.
“This year’s rally will give people a chance to perfect their ’40s costumes for the costume contest that was a hit last year,” said Marsha Mather-Thrift, executive director of the Rosie the Riveter Trust. “And people can make a day of the event, taking advantage of the new ferry service from San Francisco. They can also hop on a Rally Day Shuttle to enjoy the Red Oak Victory and wine tasting at Riggers Loft Winery, both of which are located in historic Shipyard Three and enjoy discounts and special treats at local Richmond businesses, too.”
In past years, the event has made attempts at breaking the Guiness World Records for most people dressed in traditional Rosie garb, part of a friendly rivalry with counterparts from the former Willow Run bomber plant in Michigan.
This year, Richmond’s signature event will “celebrate the ordinary people from many backgrounds, races and communities across the U.S. who stepped up to extraordinary challenges,” says the Rosie the Riveter Trust, the event’s nonprofit sponsor.
As such, a costume contest will include categories for Best Non-Rosie Home Front Worker (such as nurses, welders, electricians, victory gardeners, bus and trolley drivers and the like), Best Parent/Child Costume (family entries), Best Authentic 1940s Period Costume, and Most Creative Interpretation of Home Front History.
The categories will be topped, of course, by the one that made the rally famous: Best Traditional Rosie Costume with the coveralls, polka-dot bandanna, and boots depicted in morale posters of the era.
“This event is a family celebration of the WWII Home Front effort, so we ask that you keep costumes G-rated and leave all battlefront paraphernalia (real or reproduction) at home,” organizers note.
Seeing hundreds of women and men, girls and boys dressed as Rosie the Riveter is a highlight, but the family event will also have live 1940s-style entertainment, food, and exhibits and activities for all ages, including Junior Ranger projects, welding demonstrations taught by the Northern California Carpenters Union, shipyard badge-making, and educational Victory Gardening.
At 2 p.m., a 2.5-mile round trip history hike of former home front sites on the Bay Trail will be led by Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia and Karen Buchanan.
“Immediately after the program, original Rosies will be available to take questions and share stories about their education, training, and work during World War II,” the trust said in an announcement. “These ladies worked as welders, electricians, draftswomen and, of course, riveters. Their groundbreaking efforts were hailed as critical to the war effort and to breakthroughs for women in the workplace.”
The Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park visitors center next door to the Craneway will be open and offer film showings during the day about the home front era.
Admission and parking are free and the Craneway is also on the Bay Trail, a popular bicycle route. Free bike parking will be available in front of the Visitor Center courtesy of cycling group Rich City RIDES.
Another option for coming to the event from San Francisco is the San Francisco Bay Ferry, which began weekend service from San Francisco to the Richmond dock outside the Craneway Pavilion on Aug. 3. The ferry leaves San Francisco at 10:15 a.m. and will arrive in Richmond in time for the start of the rally.
For more details, visit http://www.rosietheriveter.org/events/rosie-rally or contact the Rosie the Riveter Trust at 510-507-2276.
*A group of Rosie the Riveters, including Agnes Moore and Marian Wynn, attend the 75th anniversary ceremony of the D-Day invasion of France during World War II.