Full day of events on Memorial Day to honor Banning’s fallen veterans and bring to life 1940s-style dances and USO-style entertainment
By Aramiss Navaii
On Monday, May 27, Memorial Day, join the Cultural Alliance for a full day of events that pay tribute to Banning’s veterans and current members of the armed forces. Events start with a dedication at 11 a.m. Members of the armed forces are encouraged to come dressed in uniform and their partners in period dress. Taking place in the historic Banning Woman’s Club, the event will include USO style dance and stage performance.
Date/Time: Monday, May 27, Memorial Day, all day starting at 11 a.m. (see event schedule below)
Location: Historic Banning Woman’s Club building 175 W. West Hays St, Banning, CA, 92220
Admission: All are welcome
Food: There will be a barbecue and open bar during the dances and entertainment
The Dedication: 11a.m.
Afternoon Dance: Noon-3:30 p.m.
USO Show: 4 p.m.
Buy your tickets early
The Dedication: Free to the public
Dance, USO production and BBQ: Advance, $35/person; at the door, $40/person
USO show: $15/person
USO show and BBQ: $25/person
For tickets call: 951-722-5526 (box office); 951-922-4911 (Banning Woman’s Club)
About the Events
At 11 a.m., Memorial Day festivities will begin with a dedication to Banning’s local veteran heroes. This portion of the event will feature a viewing of a memorial honoring the 46 men from Banning who died in war. Read the list of veterans.
Ever wanted to learn how to dance 1940s-style? Were you a hepcat back in the day and now you’re ready to dust off your dancing shoes and get back into the swing of things? Then join the Cultural Alliance in celebrating one of our most significant national holidays 1940s style. Starting at noon, right after the dedication service, join the Cultural Alliance in learning popular dances of the time—the jitterbug, lindy hop, swing, you name it, we’ll dance it. Be prepared to travel back in time through décor and props from the 1940s era.
1940s USO Style Show and Evening Dance:
At 4 p.m., Pass Area Performing Arts (PAPA) will perform a USO style show reminiscent of those that took place in the Banning Woman’s Club building during WWII. Styled after the Bob Hope variety productions, this show will feature solo vocalists, barbershop quartets and magicians. Directed by Stephanie Navarro, a USO center manager from USO in Palm Springs, the location of Mr. Hope’s beloved desert home, the event will follow the dance where veterans are invited to appear in uniform and women in period dress. The USO will also have a tent displaying World War II memorabilia.
The Legend of the Banning Woman’s Club Building
The Banning Woman’s Club building was home to the local USO during World War II. During World War I, it served as the site of the first area Red Cross and a place where war bonds were distributed and sold. As a result, Banning received a tank that was named the “Banning.” Read more.
Photos: Featured photo of Memorial Sculpture at Banning Woman’s Club; Flag taken by Aramiss Navaii