1940’s Ball: Tonight were gonna party like it’s 1945

1940’s Ball: Tonight were gonna party like it’s 1945

The Boulder Municipal Airport was transported back in time on Saturday. Not by way of the DeLorean, but by noisy, welcomed warbirds at the 5th Annual WWII Era 1940’s Ball.

The scenery looked straight out of a film set inspired by the Greatest Generation. Girls donned sky-high victory rolls and men dressed ready to serve.

Every year the ball unites a community and bridges generations that have more in common than they often realize.

It’s hard to think of many weekend scenarios that bring together veterans and millennials – all ready to dance the night away.

A lovely Pin Up contestant before the contest

A lovely Pin Up contestant before the contest

I had covered previous 1940’s events before as a journalist, but this year I chose to play a bigger role in the event.

Entering the Pin Up Contest let me immerse myself and meet more people in the community who embrace the culture associated with the era.

“Don’t you wish this happened more than once a year?” was a comment I heard more than once during the night.

A comment founder Khyentse James would most likely be proud to hear.

The ball’s mission not only supports organizations including The Wounded Warriors Project and The Spirit of Flight Center Colorado, it also aims to introduce newcomers to a special time in history.

I brought a friend along to my pin up adventure. She thought the idea of the ball sounded fun but had never really dressed up past Halloween parties and maybe a 3rd grade play.

When we got to the 1940’s Starlet Salon for my hair and makeup appointment, that all changed.

Before and After at the 1940's Starlet Salon

Before and After at the 1940’s Starlet Salon (Photos: Resident Rock Star Photography)

No less than 5 minutes after I arrived, she booked a hair appointment. By the time I was done, she looked beautiful.

It wasn’t just the pin curls and the red lipstick that made her stand out, she was glowing with confidence. It’s something I’ve noticed about those who love these events. The style exudes class and confidence, something as simple as dressing the part really brings out that side of your personality.

Then it was time to dance! Novice and experts were both enjoying each other’s company on the dance floor. That’s what’s great about swing dancing, you don’t have to be an all-star dancer to have fun.

As evening approached, I walked around the event and observed some wonderful things.

The setting of the evening was so picturesque I witnessed not one but two proposals. Each lovely lady said yes and the men won points among the crowd for creativity.

It was also wonderful to see how well different generations bonded. I had people come up to me to talk about my outfit, how it reminded them of their childhood and inquired where I found it. Before the conversation was over, there was someone else in the circle discussing the 1940s and hoping to exchange stories they heard through their grandparents.

As much fun as I was having the pageant was quickly approaching and I had to get in line quickly.

I approached the side of the stage and got my first glimpse of the competition. It was a group of girls all giggling and smiling. They were sharing their love for a time period so distinctive that capturing it was an art form in itself.

They had it all. Glam, sailors, pin up, swim suits and elegant style. They embodied the spirit the ball wishes to capture every year. I just wish the audience would have had a chance to get to know every single one of them a little bit better.

When I made top three, I was shocked. There was no way in my mind that could happen. Not with who I was up against. And talk about nerves on stage. The only thing that got me through the whole process was knowing just how supportive everyone in the audience was to us.

“Don’t you wish this happened more than once a year?”

During the question portion there was a common theme amongst us: we all felt that we were born in the wrong decade. (Thankfully events like these help us cope.)

In the end I was 1st Runner Up. A position I was happy to accept, the winner was well deserved!

The night was a memorable one and I am happy to have had a chance to meet the community that keeps the 1940’s alive.

If you want to attend one of these events, visit www.1940sball.org to get yourself a ticket to the next ball!

READ MORE: Pin up Prep


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