The Secret City Festival is introducing a new “Salute to Soldiers” program featuring World War II living history activities and demonstrations at A.K. Bissell Park on Saturday, June 22.
“Come out and salute our WWII veterans and enjoy an entire day of living history activities and exhibits provided by Five Oh First Group,” a press release said.
Period camps open at 9 a.m., with demonstrations running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The year is 1944…the world has been at war for almost five years, and the growing Allied successes are turning the tide towards victory. Step back in time and experience first-hand what life was like both at home and in combat during WWII. Tour period military camps and see how soldiers survived on the front lines of combat. What did they eat? How did they live in the field? What equipment and weapons did they use to survive?
Vehicles of every kind from motorcycles and jeeps to halftracks and artillery will be on display. Tour an American First Aid station and see how lives were saved on the front lines. Compare the equipment used by the Americans, British, Japanese, and Germans as well, and see period weapons in action! Any young “recruits” out there will have the chance to experience real military training. Attend Col. “Jumpy” Johnson’s Junior Jump School and train just like the real paratroopers of WWII. Train on the infamous obstacle course or take aim at the grenade toss competition and much more.
Celebrity impersonators of famous 1940s personalities, including Betty Grable, Katherine Hepburn, and Judy Garland, will mingle with spectators and offer photo opportunities. Look closely and you’ll see Bob Hope as well. Stop by and enjoy period swing music and a concert by Bombshells United in the USO-style Veteran’s Appreciation tent.
Recently, the American Bus Association named the Secret City Festival as one of their Top 100 Events. The International and Southern Festival and Events Associations have honored the festival with several Pinnacle Awards and Kaleidoscope Awards during the past few years, including a Silver Kaleidoscope Award for Best Festival in 2011 and a Bronze award for Best Festival Website in 2012.
The 11th annual Secret City Festival is presented by the City of Oak Ridge, the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Arts Council of Oak Ridge. The festival features WWII displays and memorabilia, special events at the American Museum of Science and Energy, a children’s area, arts and crafts vendors, and nationally known concert entertainment.