|Wednesday, Sep 26, 2007|
The National Park Service will âlaunchâ Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park this coming Saturday at the historic Kaiser Shipyard No. 3 in Richmond, California. The ceremony will recreate a World War II ship launch against the backdrop of the huge Art Deco Kaiser General Warehouse, the S.S. Red Oak Victory, and stunning views of San Francisco Bay. Nationally recognized vocalist Linda Tillery will sing the national anthem.
Established in 2000 in collaboration with the city of Richmond and other partners, the park celebrates the role of countless Americans in Richmond and across the nation who made contributions and sacrifices to achieve victory on the home front.
The launch is one of several National Park activities that are part of the Richmond Home Front Festival by-the-Bay, which will take place over this coming weekend. Other activities on Saturday at Shipyard No. 3 include tours of the historic shipyard buildings, the ten-story tall Whirley crane, and vintage military vehicles. The Red Oak Victory will host a pancake breakfast aboard ship, and during the day will give tours and show films in the museum.
On Sunday, the National Park Serviceâs big event will be the Home Front Reunion at the Ford Assembly Building, the future home of the parkâs visitor center. Old and young alike will have the opportunity to learn history from the people who lived it, listen to speakers and music, sing along to songs from the old days, and participate in hands-on activities. Home front workers may contribute their stories and memorabilia to the National Park Service collection.
At the Ford Building on Saturday and Sunday, visitors can see the âThink Bigâ exhibit, showing how Henry J. Kaiser transformed the country's shipbuilding industry and see an incredible collection of World War II vintage books on shipbuilding, shipping, and naval actions from the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
On Saturday night, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce is hosting a USO Dance at the Ford Building.
Marina Bay Park visitors can explore a variety of festival exhibits and activities on Saturday and Sunday. Marina Bay is a beautifully redeveloped residential area that occupies former Shipyard No. 2 â in fascinating contrast to Shipyard No. 3, which continues some of its historic functions as a contemporary working port. Visitors can visit the National Park Service and Rosie the Riveter Trust tent and find out more about the park and participate with a park ranger on a stroll along the Bay Trail to read wayside exhibits and explore the Rosie the Riveter Memorial, a park site dedicated to women who worked on the home front â all while enjoying spectacular views across San Francisco Bay. Next to the memorial, the art pavilion will exhibit art by children cared for in ground-breaking child care centers established for working families during World War II.
On Saturday, the Alma, a schooner from San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, will arrive at the Richmond Marina at Marina Bay with Bay Area girl scouts. During the day, the Rotary club will be signing up festival-goers for free water tours to see the sites between Marina Bay and Shipyard No. 3.
For more information about National Park and Home Front Festival-by-the-Bay activities and events, visit www.homefrontfestival.com or contact the National Park Service at 510-232-5050.