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 30th to Sunday, July 1st at 2:00 p.m. The Rowlesburg Revitalization Committee is proud to be sponsoring the event. For more information, contact Shawna Sines at email@example.com, or Jim Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jef Verswyvel and Maggie Deweirdt of Rowlesburg started this event six years ago. They came to Rowlesburg by way of Belgium. Jef and Maggie began all of this by establishinga 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
“The Andrews Sisters” are coming back! They will perform traditional 1940s songs following the fashion show on the field. 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 Saturday evening.
Bobby Menear is a direct descendent of the Big Band legendary pioneer Glenn Miller, and loves the music of his heritage. Hors d'oeuvres and drinks (soft drinks, water, wine and beer) are included and served in a 1940s atmosphere. Dressy or Period attire please. Order tickets early as this event usually sells out. Admission: $25.00 per person.
To hear and see the Maestros of Swing, click here.
From this 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 1:30 pm. 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.
More fun and entertainment awaits on Saturday for the fashionistas! The very popular 1940’s fashion show is
coming back, beginning at 2:00 p.m. featuring fashions from the WWII era. To participate in the show, please contact Shawna Sines. You also will be entertained by ‘40s’ period music by the Andrews Sisters reenactors, real-life sisters, Ann, Carol, and Laura Vinatieri - who impersonate the Andrews Sisters. To whet the apetite hot dogs, hamburgers, pepperoni rolls, homemade cookies and drinks--will be available on the field. And, the Rowlesburg Park Concession Stand also will be open for food & drinks.
ON SUNDAY, 8 am to 1 pm, bring a hearty appetite! The V.F.W. POST 3008 is serving its famous HOME MADE BREAKFAST in the VFW function room.
WREATH LAYING CEREMONY at 1:00 pm at the Honor Roll Monument. Dedication by Rev. Roy Mick. 21 Gun Salute and Taps by VFW Post 578 Terra Alta & Aurora