Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's That Time Again

This Friday through Sunday there’s a huge gathering at the Reading Airport, the twentieth annual WWII Weekend. Expected attendance –25,000 plus 1800 re-enactors. The first year there were only 1000 people total. Quite a difference!

The focus this year is on a complete immersion into the time period. There will be a re-created French village that will host several skirmishes along with encampments styled on each of the European, Mediterranean and Pacific theaters. They even go so far as to bring in bamboo so there’s the proper foliage. On Saturday and Sunday there’s a huge frontline battle scheduled at 3:00.

Re-enactors spend the entire weekend in character, some of whom are going to be sharing period stories near the hanger displays. In addition to the camps and battles, there is also a home front area, including a 1940’s department store which will be open for business. In the evenings there’s a special dinner followed by dancing.

Ooh, I almost forgot to mention the planes. Reportedly, more than ever are coming in this year, making the event the largest of its kind in the country. There will be many fly-bys throughout the weekend, some of which you can purchase tickets for and actually ride along, as well as planes open on the ground to poke around in.

Carrying the theme one step farther, the summer’s MidDay Café in downtown Reading will kick off Friday from 11:30 to 1:30. It’s scheduled to be a D-Day celebration complete with a restored vehicle convoy, B-25’s overhead, period music and food from local restaurants. Hmm, I’m only two blocks from that, perhaps I’ll wander over.

Admission to the MidDay Café is free. Gates at the airport open daily at 8:30 a.m. and there is a three-day pass available for a reduced fee. For complete information, go here.

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