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Garden of Delights Coming to Richmond Waterfront

Garden of delights coming to Richmond waterfront

By Chris Treadway
Contra Costa Times

Posted: 09/25/2009 03:23:20 PM PDT

Updated: 09/25/2009 05:49:26 PM PDT


The Victory Garden, that staple of World War II that provided fruits and vegetables for the dining tables of the homefront, will be a focus of next weekend's Home Front Festival by the Bay in Richmond.

The festival will take place 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Craneway Pavilion and Lucretia Edwards Park. It will include live entertainment, games, a children's action zone, food, vendors and information booths, along with land and water-based tours of sites in the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park.

The theme of this year's waterfront celebration is "We Grow When We Come Together," a nod to the victory gardens that yielded 40 percent of domestic produce during the war and the modern-day efforts to establish similar gardens.

"We're highlighting community gardens and victory gardens and trying to show that what people did on the World War II home front is relevant today," said Carla Koop, outreach coordinator for the East Bay's National Park Service unit. "It ties into the community and school gardens being established today."

The park service conducted its own victory garden program over the summer, in which 10 local teenagers established an ongoing vegetable plot at Verde Elementary School in North Richmond.

Inside the Craneway Pavilion will be exhibits to put the gardens in a historical context and resources for those who want to establish their own version. In keeping with the theme, the Boilerhouse Restaurant and the culinary academy from Contra Costa College in San Pablo will present a menu of healthful food items for sale.

The Craneway also will house a reunion corner at which those who worked at the wartime shipyards can gather.

"We've invited over 2,000 'Rosies' and shipyard workers to the festival," said Judy Morgan, president of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, which co-sponsors the event with the city and the park service. The Homefront Festival is in its third year.

Outside, in Lucretia Edwards Park, will be music on the main stage, a classic car show presented by the Richmond Kiwanis Club and a bounce house, bungee and sky dancer attractions and a rock-climbing wall for younger celebrants.

A shuttle will take visitors between Ford Point and the SS Red Oak Victory, the historic ship docked at the former Kaiser Shipyard No. 3. Visitors can tour the Red Oak, the last of the 744 ships built in Richmond still afloat, and see presentations of shipyard documentaries below deck. At 3:30 p.m. the classic 1942 film "Casablanca" will be screened.

The Red Oak will host its own special event Oct. 3, "Gangway To Broadway," a benefit concert by the Clarewood Singers chorus.

The concert will have cabaret-style table seating with complimentary wine and cheese available. Tickets are $30 each, which includes boarding after 5:30 p.m. to tour the vessel and museum exhibits before the start of the 7 p.m. performance.

Tickets for the chorus performance will be available at the door, but reservations are recommended. To reserve a seat call 510-237-2933.

The day will start at 9 a.m. with the YMCA 5K and 10K Home Front Run. Entrants must register by Wednesday. For more information, go online to hilltop.ymcaeastbay.org.

Tours of sites in the Kaiser shipyard will be given about the Sea Scout ship SSS Northland three times during the day for a minor fee. The SS Potomac, the former yacht of President Franklin Roosevelt, will sail over from the Port of Oakland for the day and be open to tour by the Harbormaster building.

The kickoff to the festival is the popular USO Dance from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Craneway in the Ford Point Building, 1414 Harbour way South. Celebrants dress in period costume and dance the night away to the swing rhythms of the Junius Courtney Big Band. The dance includes free lessons, coffee and doughnuts. Tickets are $20 regular, $15 seniors in advance, or $25 and $20 at the door. For tickets, call 510-234-3512

For more details visit homefrontfestival.com.

Reach Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784.

if you're going

  WHAT: Home Front Festival by the Bay

  WHERE: The Craneway in the Ford Point Building, 1414 Harbour way South, and neighboring Lucretia Edwards Park.

  WHEN: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 3. The popular USO Dance kicks off the weekend at the Craneway from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday. The festival is free, but tickets for the dance are $20 regular, $15 seniors in advance, or $25 and $20 at the door. The benefit concert "Gangway to Broadway" is at 7 p.m. Oct. 3. $30 tickets include boarding after 5:30 p.m. to tour the SS Red Oak Victory ship

  DETAILS: Visit homefrontfestival.com. For USO Dance tickets, call 510-234-3512. Tickets for the "Gangway to Broadway performance will be available at the door, but reservations are recommended; to reserve a seat, call 510-237-2933.