WWII-themed dance proposed during Westmoreland air show
Visitors who enjoy vintage World War II aircraft typically displayed at the annual Westmoreland County Airshow may want to reserve a spot for a separate, complementary event planned for the weekend of this year’s show.
The Jeannette-based Glass City Swing Band , an 18-piece nonprofit musical group that has performed many Big Band and Swing Era tunes, is planning a “hangar dance” May 25 at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity.
The evening dance is being organized independently of the air show, which runs during daylight hours May 25 and 26, beginning at 10:30 a.m. each day at the airport.
Airport officials have expressed interest in adding appeal to the dance. Gabe Monzo, airport authority executive director, told authority board members this week he‘d like one of the aircraft that will be on display at the air show to also be on hand during the dance.
“We think it would be very popular,” Monzo said of the dance.
The dance may include a costume contest, for guests who don attire that reflects the World War II era.
Organizers have yet to confirm several details of the event, including the site at the airport where it will be held. The $40 cost would include a buffet and a cash bar.
“I believe this is the first hangar dance at the Westmoreland County Airshow,” said Joy Procida, musical director of the band and co-founder of the group with her twin sister and fellow Jeannette resident, Jill Procida.
“This is going to be our first major fundraiser for the organization,” said Joy Procida, who plays trumpet with the band. “I hope a lot of people come out, even if they don’t dance. Come out and hear a live Big Band dance unit. It’s really something to experience.
“We’re going to try to get some swing dancers, too.”
The band’s lineup includes active and retired music instructors. Jill Procida plays alto saxophone.
The band, named for the glass manufacturing industry that once was prominent in Jeannette, is looking for sponsors to help cover the costs of the airport dance.
Proceeds from the event will support the group’s missions of promoting continued enjoyment of music from the 1930s and 1940s and operating a recently developed creative arts therapy program.
“We do hope this will be an annual thing,” Joy Procida said of the dance.
She has set a May 8 deadline to register for the dance. For more information, contact her at 724-374-3777.
Visit palmerairport.com for air show details and tickets.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.