ST. GEORGE — The Western Sky Aviation Warbirds Museum turned back time 80 years on Saturday night for the return of the annual 1940s Hangar Dance.
The dance and fundraiser raised money for the museum and honored veterans who fought in World War II. This year’s event featured swing dance lessons, a display of authentic World War II aircraft and jeeps, a car show, and performances from St. George Swing Dance, the Vintage Hawaiian Dancers and The Rebel Jazz Band.
“We owe these veterans our freedom,” museum volunteer Rebecca Edwards said in a press release. “We understand that they may not be able to dance at their age, but they can delight in the music and great company.”
WWII veterans were also recognized and received rides in the jeeps. Emcee Eric Palmer asked attendees to take a moment between dancing and jubilation to pause and say thank you to those who fought 80 years ago this December, which will mark the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“The purpose of why we’re here this evening is the honoring of those who looked at their country, who looked at their neighbors, who looked at their family, who looked at their friends, and then made a volitional, conscious decision to put their lives either on hold or, in some cases, even on the line to defend, honor and protect you and you and you,” Palmer said. “What makes them heroes is they knew when they put on that uniform that they weren’t going to be invulnerable and they still did it.”
The veterans also received a traditional “hottie’s kiss” from the St. George Swing Dance Andrews Sisters, who performed a dance routine before the floor opened up to guests.
Sunday will be the last day of the four-day Armed Forces Celebration, of which the dance was a part. The overall event was put on to recognize all veterans, and the highlights were a B-25 Maid in the Shade and C-47 Skytrain, fresh from the Commemorative Air Force Airbase Arizona as part of their Flying Legends of Victory Tour.
The aviation museum is located at 4196 S. Airport Parkway in St. George and accepts donations of dollars, time and talent.
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