By Zach Chouteau
While the attempt at upping Richmond’s own Guinness World Record may have come up empty, there was definitely no shortage of pride, patriotism and just flat-out fun at Saturday’s Rosie Rally and neighboring Home Front Festival.
The unofficial 2017 count as this article was posted stood at 1,640 at the effort for most ‘Rosie the Riveter Lookalikes Gathered in one Place’—compared to the staggering 2,229 who turned out in 2016—with the shortfall likely due at least in part to some oddly cold and foggy weather.
The smaller turnout couldn’t dampen the enjoyment or sentiment of the day though, as live musical acts, a Rosie on stilts, appearances from local politicos and other factors made it a memorable experience at the Craneway Pavilion at 1414 Harbour Way South.
“Although we didn’t set a new record yesterday, I think pretty much everyone who came enjoyed it,” said Dee Amaden, a spokesperson for the event.
During the rally, both Richmond Mayor Tom Butt and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier addressed the crowd, the latter pointing out the city’s diversity and togetherness in stark contrast to the tragic events taking place across the nation in Charlottesville, Va.
Plenty of families and other groups attended the event, and another highlight was the presence of numerous ‘Original Rosies’—local women who actually served on the U.S. Home Front in Richmond during WWII, serving in roles that had traditionally been monopolized by men. Costumed pooches, toddlers and even babies dressed as Rosie added to the fun.
The active day also included the annual Home Front Festival at the nearby Lucretia Edwards Park, which included live tunes from the Klipptones, lots of tempting food trucks and a vintage Greyhound bus that was open to visitors. Info booths were also on hand hosted by such groups as Rosie’s Girls, Bay Area Air Quality Management, the State Parks Department and others.
Many event-goers also took the time to check out the SS Potomac, docked nearby for the day, and a gamut of doings at the SS Red Oak Victory at the end of Canal Blvd.
For those with an eye on the Guinness World Record, the Michigan-based group that has been competing back-and-forth with Richmond for the most Rosies will make another go at it in October.
Zach Chouteau is a longtime travel writer and editor, and currently blogs about group and family getaways at Pineapple Go.