About those sounds of cannon fire coming from Rowlesburg the last weekend of June. Not to worry. Likewise, the rumbling through town of WWII jeeps, trucks and even tanks. There is not an invasion and Hollywood is not shooting a movie. Rowlesburg is presenting its 7th Annual WWII Event, a Living History!
The event runs from Saturday, June 28th to Sunday, June 29th at 2:00 p.m. The Rowlesburg Revitalization Committee is proud to be sponsoring the event. For more information,
For more information, call 304-329-1240 or 304-454-9293. Re-enactor registrations: 304-599-4418.
Jef Verswyvel and Maggie Deweirdt of Rowlesburg started this event nine years ago. They came to Rowlesburg by way of Belgium. Jef and Maggie began all of this by establishing a fabulous gallery of WWII memorabilia. The gallery includes dozens of mannequins dressed from head to toe with authentic period uniforms from WWII.
The displays throughout are in very realistic settings created by Jef, a master model builder. This would be considered a blockbuster exhibit at the Smithsonian.
Jef and Maggie undertook this huge project in Rowlesburg on their own to honor their parents who suffered through the Nazi invasion. American GIs liberated their parents and the museum is a tribute to all brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
Below, a famous scene reenacted. This the American paratrooper who was caught on the church steeple at Sainte-Mère-Église during the Invasion of Normandy. And, no, this is not a living reenactment. It's one of Jef Versyvel's fabulous creations.
The Greatest Generation Gallery is located in the Szilagyi Center in Rowlesburg. Many Prestonians have contributed artifacts to the gallery. Portraits of area WWII Veterans line the hallway leading to the Gallery. The portraits are made area family photos of loved ones taken before, during and after the War.
The Gallery has been expanded to include a special section on women in uniform. Here is a small sampling of the Women in Uniform Gallery. Each uniform is authentic down to buttons, ties, gloves, skirts, caps and hats, shoes and hose.
MUSIC, AND MORE MUSIC
ON SATURDAY night from 8 pm to midnight, dance the night away with Bobby Menear’s “Maestros of Swing.” The Pittsburgh Big Band will perform at the Szilagyi Center Auditorium (Old Rowlesburg School) on June 28th.
Bobby Menear loves the Big Band sound of pioneer Glenn Miller. Hors d'oeuvres and drinks (soft drinks, water, wine and beer) are included and served in a 1940s atmosphere. Dressy or Period attire please.Dance the night away to the rich sounds of Miller classics such as "In the Mood," "Moonlight Serenade," "Tuxedo Junction," and "Little Brown Jug." Order tickets early as this event usually sells out. Admission: $25.00 per person.
From a small beginning came the Living History Weekend. And, as in previous years the event will be packed with activities guaranteed to delight people of all ages. This is a family event and the reenactors have as much fun of as the hundreds of people expected to visit Rowlesburg over the weekend. There will be a large encampment of WWII soldiers representing many nationalities caught up in Hitler’s war.
There will be plenty of action and firing of weapons. Battle reenactments will be held on the field Saturday afternoon.
Vintage WWII motorcycles will be on display along with other equipment, vehicles, weapons and artifacts. Everyone is invited to the field adjacent to the Rowlesburg Park to visit with WWII veterans and re-enactors throughout the day on Saturday, and part of Sunday.
MEET OUR WWII VETERANS at 12:30 pm on Saturday. This is a great opportunity to talk to the men and women who lived through it all. All WWII veterans are invited to join this event and gather in the white tent for refreshments while they talk to visitors or just reminisce about their experiences with other veterans.
This year a special feature will be the visit by First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt at 1:00 pm on Saturday (White Tent). An appearance by special guest, Hershel “Woody” Williams, WV Medial of Honor recipient, is also expected this year. Check with sponsors for updates.
WREATH LAYING CEREMONY on Saturday at 2:30 with a 21 gun salute and taps at the Rowlesburg Honor Roll by VFW Post 578.