Rosie the Riveter and Home Front Festival

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By Veronica Feyling

Make sure to fetch your red polka-dotted bandanna, as another potentially record-breaking gathering of Rosie the Riveter lookalikes in Richmond is fast approaching.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, women of all ages will gather at the iconic Craneway Pavilion in Richmond for the Rosie Rally, which will be held in conjunction with the Home Front Festival at nearby Lucretia Edwards Park and the SS Red Oak Victory Ship.

This Rosie Rally will attempt to eclipse the Guinness World Record for Rosie lookalikes that was set on Aug. 13, 2016, when 2,229 people dressed as the iconic Rosie assembled at the Craneway Pavilion.

That record broke the previous record set in 2015 at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Mich., where 2,090 Rosie lookalikes gathered.

A fun-filled rivalry between the Richmond and Michigan contingents began in 2014, when the Michigan folks set the record first with 776 lookalikes. While both sides are battling for the record, they’re in fact more happy to know that the rivalry is keeping alive the memory of Rosie the Riveter, the iconic character who appeared on famous WWII-era recruitment posters and represented women working industrial jobs to support the war effort.

“We are so excited for this year’s festivities,” said Elizabeth Turner, head ranger for the Home Front National Historical Park. “The Richmond community has come together perfectly to represent Rosie the Riveter, and keep the record ours.”

And this year’s Rosie Rally has lofty goals.

“The Craneway Pavilion can hold up to 5,000 people, and our goal is to make that quota happen,” Turner said. “This festival has truly grown and has become an amazing celebration to honor our women in history, and is a fun-filled day.”

In order to be counted in the official Guinness record book, Rosie participants must wear: a red polka dotted bandana, dark blue collared shirt, dark blue pants or blue coveralls, red socks and closed toed boots in brown or black.

Local business’ around Richmond are also anticipating a huge Rosie turnout, and are excited to help the cause by providing these items. You can find Rosie gear at the Mountain Hardware Employee Store located in the Craneway Pavilion. While the store normally operates as invitation only, its doors will open for the Rosie rally, with 10-percent of purchases funding the Rosie the Riveter Trust’s local programs.

Following the Guinness World Record count, participants will parade over to the Home Front Festival, located at Lucretia Edwards Park and SS Red Oak Victory Ship. From noon to 4 p.m., the festival will include live entertainment, food, and activities.

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