Commemorative Air Force project celebrating Tuskeegee Airmen appears as part of Secret City Festival’s “Celebrate Our Heroes” weekend
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron, America’s tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, brings their RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit to Oak Ridge this week as part of the Secret City Festival’s “Celebrate Our Heroes” event. The exhibit is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. now through Saturday at 115 South Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge in front of Maxed Out Gym.
The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit is a fully functional mobile movie theater housed in a climate controlled 53-foot semi trailer that is deployed to events around the country. This immersive experience inspires and educates audiences about the Tuskegee Airmen, our country’s first black military pilots and their support personnel, and the obstacles they had to overcome to serve their country during World War II. Because of its dynamic 160-degree panoramic screen, the film creates the feeling of being in the cockpit soaring above the clouds in the P-51C Mustang—the signature aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen. View a preview at www.redtail.org/traveling-exhibit/.
More than half a million people in 36 states have experienced a compelling and inspirational piece of American history delivered by this unique educational outreach vehicle since the program launched in 2011, a press release said. Each year, the CAF Red Tail Squadron embarks on a nine-month cross-country tour that includes appearances at air shows, schools, museums, and community events. The group’s six guiding principles—Aim High, Believe In Yourself, Use Your Brain, Be Ready To Go, Never Quit, and Expect to Win—serve as the foundation for their outreach programs and are based on the experiences and successes of the Tuskegee Airmen.
RISE ABOVE is a featured exhibit of the newly-expanded Secret City Festival, which kicks off this week. The festival now spans a two-week period with several events in the community, beginning with this weekend’s “Celebrate Our Heroes” festivities. On Friday, June 2, the focus is on history—with exhibits by Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association, Scarboro Community and Green McAdoo School at the Midtown Community Center, as well as tours of Y-12 National Security Complex, U.S. Department of Energy, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Graphite Reactor. The evening features the festival’s official opening ceremonies at Alvin K. Bissell Park, followed by a free screening of the classic film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”
On Saturday, June 3, the day is jam-packed with activities including Living History stations, encampments, military vehicle displays, and weapons demonstrations at Bissell Park. Veterans will tell their stories throughout the day, and two World War II re-enactments will take place (at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). Historic displays continue at Midtown Community Center. The evening will conclude with a swing dance demonstration and lessons from Chattanooga’s Vintage Rhythm Room and a USO-style show by Megan and Her Goody Goodies.
The festival continues with an Interfaith Evening of Music and Dance on Sunday, June 4, featuring a multi-denominational display of faith at the pavilion at Bissell Park. On Tuesday, June 6, the celebration moves to Blankenship Field for Oak Ridge After Dark—at which the popular family movie “Sing!” will be aired. June 9 and 10 brings the Secret City Festival’s concerts and arts and crafts vendors. Headliners for this year’s festival are The Black Lillies on June 9 and Dr. Dog on June 10, and a children’s stage features Sprout network host and Grammy winner for Best Children’s Album Tim Kubart. Once again, TN Creates will feature some of the region’s finest artists at their show and sale inside the Civic Center, while a variety of other crafts vendors will sell their work in the park.
For the first time, admission to all events is free of charge. To learn more about the festival and view a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.secretcityfestival.com.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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