A USO Dance and WWII Re-enactment are just some of the events being planned at the historic Baker Mansion this weekend for the annual World War II History Weekend! On today's show, event organizer and Historian Jared Frederick joins us to share details and to show some WWII items that will be on display.
About the event from The Blair County Historical Society website: " The Blair County Historical Society, based in Altoona, Pennsylvania will be hosting its third annual WWII Living History Weekend in May 2014. It will be taking place in a community park-like setting, offering space for Allied and Axis Living History camps in addition to displays. Baker Mansion is an 1849 Greek Revival mansion and will stand in for a chateau for the skirmish scenario reenactments on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. In addition to Living History demonstrations, local veterans will be on hand to share their stories. Registration and museum admission is free for all reenactor participants. Various authors and presenters will be present throughout the weekend."
Schedule of Events:
Friday May 9:
3:00 pm to 8:00pm – Reenactor event arrival, setup, and registration confirmation at info tent. Park on right shoulder of circular driveway to unpack/check-in.
Saturday May 10:
8:00am to 10:00am – Reenactor event arrival, setup, and registration confirmation.
10:00am – Site opens to general public. All modern vehicles must be parked in designated area and all modern amenities must be stowed away by this time.
10:00am to 5:00pm – Activity/Youth tent programs and Mansion tours ongoing. Exhibits and sales include the Blair County Genealogical Society, America in WWII Magazine, The PA Military Museum, Bombshell Vintiques, and Gail Furford, author of Letters Home WWII
12:30pm – Presentation on WWII nurses by Julie Decker.
1:15pm – Talk by Airborne expert Brian Domitrovich on the book Angels of Mercy: Two Screaming Eagle Medics in Angoville-au-Plain on D-Day.
2:00 pm – Military Demonstration – taking place on front lawn. To be continued Sunday…
3:00pm to 4:00pm – Presentation by historian Todd DePastino, author of Bill Mauldin, Commissioned in Battle, and Citizen Hobo. Book signing to follow.
6:00 pm to 9:00pm – 1940s USO Dance featuring live music by The San Tones Orchestra at the Juniata Pavilion in Altoona. (WWII dances and receptions actually happened here!) Tickets can be bought at the door or in advance through the society. Ticket includes admission, food, refreshments, live music. Funds benefit the society. Admission: $15 for WWII reenactors in uniform. $20 for the general public. Tickets may be purchased online at the link above, at Thompson’s Pharmacy locations, at Baker Mansion during the event, and at the door of the dance (if still available).
Sunday May 11:
10:00am – Site opens to public.
10:00am to 3:00pm – Activity/Youth tent programs and Mansion tours ongoing. Exhibits and sales
6:00pm – Special showing of the film The Great Escape on the big screen.
Taking place at the Penn State Altoona Devorris Downtown Center, 1431 12th Ave. (between 14th & 15th St.), Altoona, PA 16601. Admission and refreshments are free and open to the public.
A food vendor will be located on site both Saturday and Sunday. Multiple restaurants of various types are located within one mile of the site, some within walking distance. Various hotels are also located nearby, including an affordable Days Inn and Holiday Inn.