|Monday, Dec 1, 2008|
Thousands of people celebrated the home front spirit during the second annual Home Front Festival in Richmond, California, between October 3rd to the 5th.
Hosted by the National Park Service, the city of Richmond, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, the Richmond Convention and Visitorsâ Bureau, and other community partners, festival-goers were able to have fun and immerse themselves in history all in one weekend.
Those lucky enough to sample all of the festival sites had a wide menu to choose from. A well-attended WWII-style âUSO danceâ on Friday kicked off the weekend events. Saturdayâs festivities began at Lucretia Edwards Park, where dignitaries and festival organizers were joined by youth from local schools who participated in a ceremony featuring miniature, hand-made tule boats. Two music stages featured many different bands that appealed to different ages â from the youth groups, Crunchy Frog and Goapele, to the chart topping band, The Spinners.
Visitors enjoyed home front exhibits and activities at the NPS gathering and reunion on Sunday at the Ford Assembly Building, where jeeps were built and tanks outfitted during WWII. The huge Ford Assembly Craneway was filled with food, music, exhibitors, and reminiscences by home front workers. Rosies and other home front workers shared their stories with volunteers for submission into the park archives. Renowned folk musician Faith Petric performed with fellow musicians from the San Francisco Folk Music Club and was honored for her lifetime achievements, including a stint as a âRosieâ in the Hoboken, New Jersey, shipyards during WWII. Fourteen school and community gardens participated in a victory garden poster exhibit that featured artwork made by local youth.
Just down the road from the Ford Building, the historic Filice and Perrelli Cannery featured a display of childrenâs art made at wartime childcare centers and historic photos of the beautifully restored cannery, which helped provide food for the war effort. Just north of the cannery, visitors learned about the Pueblo Indian âvillageâ that existed at the Richmond freight yard during the war. At all festival sites, kids had fun discovering the home front with a scavenger hunt. They earned âration stampsâ by doing activities such as obtaining a home front workersâ signature in their Rosieâs Ration Book. Attendees enjoyed free shuttle service and boat rides on both days.