By: Julie Dermody | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: November 2009
Medic sweethearts cut a rug at the Celebrate Freedom Hangar Dance.
The year is 1945. Excitement is everywhere as soldiers return from heroic battles fought on foreign soil. The entire nation is celebrating victory. There’s a dance tonight at the local airport. Music drifts through the hangar doors, inviting all who can hear. Uniformed soldiers and their sweethearts race to the dance floor under the protective gaze of a B-24 bomber and a couple of piper cubs that watch from their stations. An American flag measuring over 50 feet high and 60 feet wide graces one hanger wall glowing in the spotlights.
Wouldn’t it be fun to revisit this moment in history? To really experience a celebration that was penned in memoirs? An opportunity to recapture that nostalgic atmosphere is happening right here in Oklahoma. The Commemorative Air Force’s Spirit of Tulsa Squadron invites you to step back more than 60 years to the time of radio, war bonds and victory gardens – a time to celebrate freedom and remember history. You’re invited to attend a World War II-style big band hangar dance on Saturday, November 7, 2009, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Dance the night away or just enjoy the ambiance of the big band music as only The Sounds of Music, an 18-piece orchestra, can play it! Vintage aircraft and WWII memorabilia serve as backdrops, setting the tone for this special night. Don’t forget your wallet, as the silent auction will offer many highly sought-after items. Or stop by the PX, where shoppers can find mementoes and aviation-themed gifts.
Free swing dance lessons are provided for the early attendees. Catered dinners are available, but you must pre-order. If you miss the deadline, there is always Rosie’s Canteen for snacks.
Transport yourself to 1945 with the CAF Spirit of Tulsa Squadron’s big band hangar dance.
This annual event is the main fundraiser for the Spirit of Tulsa Squadron. The squadron is a 501(3) c non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration and flying of World War II aircraft. Work crews are made up of volunteers from all walks of life. Many volunteers are aircraft workers by day and vintage aircraft restorers by night. The members of the squadron are passionate about keeping the past alive for future generations.
The entire day of November 7 is part of an effort to bring the stories of the World War II era to life for those who were not alive then, as well as to recreate memories for those who lived through it. The witnesses to this time in history are disappearing; more than 1,000 World War II veterans are dying each day.
Take time to reconnect with history and plan to attend one of the biggest swing dances in the country. Come to the Celebrate Freedom Hangar Dance on November 7 at Tulsa Tech’s Riverside Campus, 801 E. 91st St. All seats are reserved by table number, 10 seats per table. Cost is $17.50 per person, or save and buy a table of 10 for $150.00. Dress is casual, military or 1940s style. The hangar is handicap accessible. Be ready to enjoy a wonderful, relaxed evening, listening to the best big band around in the atmosphere of the WWII era.
Another of CAF’s events is happening in November too. Because of the rainy month of September, the original date for the Wings over Tulsa was postponed to November 7. The event at the Riverside Campus of Tulsa Tech will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come and see historical aircraft flights and displays, vintage cars and military vehicles, historical displays, and re-enactors who are open for questions about their era. Tickets will be sold at the gate. Admission is $5 for regular admission, $3 for seniors and military in uniform, and children 12 and under get in free.