Swing Time: An Extravaganza of Big Band Music from the World War II Era

Dr. Fred Richards, Swing Time MC.  UWG.Xiaojuan Christian.Swing Time, a celebration of the music of World War II, is scheduled to take place on Oct. 17. Doors open at 6 p.m. and events begin at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public and will be taking place in the Campus Center ballroom. The UWG Jazz Ensemble will play swing music, Wolf Prints, a student dance company, will be performing to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, and a play entitled “One Great Cause” will also be performing. For those who are looking to dance, there will be a wooden dance floor provided.

“I would say it’s like a 1940s experience,” says UWG Mass Communications lecturer, Gail Reid, who helped plan the event. “I mean, when you walk up to the Campus Center ballroom, there’s going to be a real World War II jeep there, and people dressed in 101st airborne military uniforms.”

Reid is expecting for the event to be as authentic as possible. Guests will be greeted with coffee, lemonade and cake. The flags will have 48 stars as they did during World War II. Newspaper boys and girls will be handing out programs for the evening. Two large Rosie the Riveter posters saying “We can do it!” will be hung on the walls of the Campus Center.

Guests can take pictures wearing 1940s-styled hats in a free photo booth and take sepia colored, “old-timey” pictures to commemorate the evening. There will be a white-glove tour where guests can handle artifacts from the time. The Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing, which is more or less a “flying museum”, will also be bringing artifacts to display. Period dress is welcomed, but not required. Examples can be found on the UWG Library’s website, including makeup and hair.

“Learning should be fun,” says Reid. “It may sound hokey, but history can come alive. And that’s what we hope will happen that night.”

Veterans will be honored at the event. They will be given ribbons and be recognized by the master of ceremonies, Dr. Fred Richards. Golf carts will be available to pick them up from the parking lots and take them to the campus center.

“We’re looking at this through the lenses of 70 years,” says Reid. “Because of that, I think there are a lot of young people who have never stopped to think about the types of sacrifices that were made both on the warfront and the home front.”

Swing Time is happening in conjunction with the exhibit, “Over Here and Over There: Georgia and Georgians in World War II.” The exhibit will be on display in the UWG library from Oct 13 to Dec 7.




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