Ever wonder what it was like to paracute into a foreign country during World War II, fly a combat plane or work in a MASH unit? Characters who did these jobs and many more will come to life at the Night of the Museum, which will be held Feb. 3 at the Museum of Aviation at Robins Air Force Base.
The bi-annual event will include re-enactors, storytellers and presenters, said Candi James, history program coordinator for the Education Center at the museum.
“Everybody who works this event (is) encouraged to dress up as a character,” she said. “We have three buildings of world history, aircraft and exhibits. They are going to come alive with the characters during that era of time ... by having people stationed at different areas in that building in character of someone during that time.”
For the World War II era, James said there will be Rosie the Riveter, Bessie Coleman, Winston Churchill and Tuskegee Airman Charles Anderson, just to name a few. Anne Frank, Amelia Earhart and Jackie Cochran, a significant aviator, will also be represented in that era, as well as the 101st WWII re-enactors, a group that will have authentic WWII artifacts on tables and will be dressed up as WWII paratroopers. Representing the Korean War and Vietnam era, James said characters Forrest Gump and Jennie, as well as the Radar, Hawkeye and Maj. “Hot Lips” Houlihan, from the show “M.A.S.H.,” will be on hand. Representing the walk on the moon during this time period will be Neil Armstrong.
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“Our buildings are full of aircraft … a lot of people are going to be representing airplanes,” she said.
The Century of Flight Hangar will have Betsy Ross and her sewing circle, Albert Einstein and an assistant, and a variety of hands-on science activities for kids to do at different stations, James. said “Star Wars” characters will also be available as well as a portable Star Lab Planetarium that visitors can go inside and explore.
“Everything is intermixed where neither the adults nor children will get bored,” she said. “I think it is one of our best events ever at the Museum.”
Melissa G. Spalding, director of education, said the program was a huge success the last time it was held in February 2016. More than 800 tickets were sold and about 1,000 people came.
“This year, we have volunteers from Robins Air Force Base, Northside High School JROTC, Warner Robins High School Beta Club, Perry Players, and plenty of friends and family all involved in making this a night to remember!” Spalding wrote in a statement.
At least two cockpits will be open for people to get inside and explore the aircraft, James said.
The funds raised will go toward the education center for the education programs, James said. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at museumofaviation.org or at the door.