Old Fort Niagara invites the public to "Swing Into the '40s" at a new swing dance event March 28. The event runs from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Fort Niagara Officers Club. The dance will offer lessons, drinks, hors d'oeuvres, door prizes, a dance competition and music by Buffalo Jazz & Swing Band.
"Hosting a swing dance is a fun and energetic way of drawing attention to Fort Niagara's 20th century history," said Lauren Agnello, event organizer and 10-year veteran in the fort's interpretive department. "Many people are aware of Old Fort Niagara's colonial history, but don't know about its role in training officers in World War I or as a POW camp during World War II. I wanted to organize a fundraiser that would make people more aware while still having a lot of fun."
Tickets are available by presale for $60 by calling 716-745-7611 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Each ticket includes:
Funds will benefit the fort's education programming.
Attendees have the option to wear 1940s-inspired clothing. Agnello said women's swing-dance attire in the 1940s included skirts, blouses and dresses that created an hourglass silhouette with the help of shoulder pads. Saddle shoes, wedges and low-heeled oxfords were common footwear. Men wore military uniforms or a suit and tie. Awards will be given out for the best-dressed man and woman.
Old Fort Niagara (www.oldfortniagara.org) is located in Fort Niagara State Park in Youngstown.