The annual Richmond tradition that inspires hundreds of residents and visitors to dress up like Rosie the Riveter is set for the Craneway Pavilion this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Rosie Rally Home Front Festival is taking a different angle this year — mainly, it is no longer trying to set a Guinness World Record for the largest number of Rosie the Riveter lookalikes gathered in one location. Rather than the record, the event’s focus has shifted this year to the free, family-friendly festival that will feature live music, food and fun activities including a Rosies costume contest.
For now, that puts to rest the friendly rivalry over this particular Guinness World Record between folks operating out of the Rosie the Riveter Visitors Center in Richmond and those from the Yankee Air Museum in Michigan.
In March 2014, the Michigan contingent first set the Guinness World Record for Rosie the Riveter impersonators when 776 Rosie lookalikes gathered at Willow Run Airport. In response, the Richmond contingent stole the record when 1,084 people dressed as the iconic Rosie the Riveter assembled at the at The Rosie the Riveter Memorial in Marina Bay Park. The two sides managed to top 2,000 Rosies in subsequent events, but last year the Michigan side took considerable command of the Guinness World Record with 3,755 in attendance.
The rivalry ultimately worked to raise awareness about Rosie the Riveter, the iconic character who represents the significant impact of women who worked in the factories and shipyards while men were overseas during WWII.
This year’s event at Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way S., again encourages people near and far to come and celebrate the legacy of Rosie the Riveter.
“This year, instead of breaking the Guinness record, we encourage everyone to update Rosie or represent home front occupations in creative ways, or to come in traditional garb to join the largest Rosie celebration and festival yet,” organizers said.
The event will feature swing dance lessons, a Home Front History Hike, a lineup of performances from local and international artists, and a costume contest crowing winners in categories such as Best Traditional Rosie, Best Non-Rosie Home Front Worker, Best matching Parent/Child costume; Best Authentic 40s Period Costume; and more.
For more information about the costume contest and other activities, go to the Festival information page here.
“This year’s event will honor original WWII Rosies and home front workers and celebrate the ordinary people from many backgrounds, races and communities across the U.S. who stepped up to extraordinary challenges during WWII,” organizers said.