Rosies Invade the Yard!

August 11 & 12, 2018: Rosies Invade the Yard - A celebration of the Shipbuilding Women of the Navy

August 11 & August 12, 2018

Charlestown Navy Yard


Join us for a two-day extravaganza celebrating the role of women workers at the Charlestown Navy Yard!

Thousands of women worked at the Charlestown Navy Yard during World War II. The Yard's newspaper called them SWONs: the Shipbuilding Women of the Navy. They fulfilled roles from painters to welders, and riveters to sheet metal workers. Their efforts played a critical role in the outcome of the war and left a lasting mark on American history. Come join us in remembering and celebrating the work of these Shipbuilding Women of the Navy!

A couple in center dancing to music, other dancers are in the periphery.
Swing dancing returns to the Navy Yard! Free lessons will be available before the live music and dancing on Saturday. More live swing will fill the air again Sunday afternoon!
(All events are both Saturday and Sunday unless otherwise noted.)

Swing, Music, & Dance

  • Swing the Night Away!
    Saturday, Lessons at 6 pm, Dance from 6:30 - 9:30 pm- Music & Dance Tent

    As the sun begins to set on the Charlestown Navy Yard, join Boston Swing Central and The Easy Winners to swing the night away!

  • The Mood Swings Orchestra
    Sunday, 1:00 and 2:30 pm - Music & Dance Tent

    Enjoy the swinging tunes of The Mood Swings Orchestra, an all female big band. Since 2003 the Mood Swings have been delighting audiences with their repertoire of swing music from the 1930s and beyond.

  • Accidental charm
    Saturday, 12 and 1:30 pm - Music & Dance Tent

    Accidental Charm is a women's vocal quartet singing contemporary 4-part a cappella harmony in the barbershop style!

  • SoundScape
    Sunday 12 and 2:00 pm - Music & Dance Tent

    Sharing the magic of 4-part a cappella harmony since 2007.

A Collage of five photographs. Left top: Boy sits in jeep. Left bottom: Girl colors at table. Center: Woman ties red bandanna on child. Top right: children at easels. Bottom right: Costumed workers at jeep.

Hands-on History:

  • Hands on History Tent
    Saturday & Sunday - 1 pm - 5 pm

    Do you think you would have made a good Navy Yard employee in World War II? Try your hand making a worker badge, twisting rope, riveting, and more! Explore activities and games for little hands and the young at heart!
    Don’t forget to strike your best Rosie pose in front of the “We Can Do It” selfie station!

  • Vehicles for Victory
    Saturday and Sunday, 11 am - 4 pm - Pier 1 and 1st Avenue Come explore the different kinds of vehicles that were transported by Landing Ship, Tanks (LSTs). The men and women at this Navy Yard built 44 LSTs during World War II.
Woman flexing her right arm against a yellow background with a speech bubble reading "We Can Do It!"

Ships & SWONs:

  • Exhibit: Rosie Roll Call
    Saturday and Sunday, 9 am - 6 pm
    Navy Yard Visitor Center

    A new exhibit that shares the role, accomplishments, and personal memories of the over 8,000 women who lent a hand in the national war effort here at the Navy Yard during World War II.

  • Visit USS Cassin Young
    10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

    Explore the main deck of this World War II Fletcher-class Destroyer! Look for SWON stations and learn about the vital role women played in building these ships. During World War II, over 80 destroyers and destroyer escorts were built by this Navy Yard.

  • USS Cassin Young Guided Tours
    11 am, Noon, 1 pm, 2 pm & 3pm - 45 minute ranger-led tour.

    See how these ships were built and learn about the men who served on board. FREE tickets are available first-come, first-served, aboard the ship. Visitors must be over 42” in height to participate in this tour. *Note: Ship activities may be canceled or modified due to weather and/or tidal conditions.


Special Tours & Presentations:

  • Rosie’s Navy Yard
    Saturday and Sunday, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 pm - 60 minute ranger-led tours. Tours begin at the flag pole on Pier 1

    Over 8,000 women joined the workforce at the Boston Naval Shipyard to help win World War II. Join this free walking tour to explore their stories.

  • Victory Garden Tour
    Saturday & Sunday, 11 am & 5 pm, 30 minute tour begins at the Flagpole

    During the War civilians were encouraged to grow their own food to help aleviate wartime demand. Come join a short tour of the Navy Yard’s own living Victory Garden.

  • The South Boston Annex
    Saturday, 11 am & 2 pm, 45 minute presentation at the Talk stage in the Music Tent

    The annex at South Boston greatly increased the capacity of the Navy Yard in Boston during World War II. Discover how workers adapted to the rapidly increasing pace of production, and consider what significance US Navy production had for the City of Boston.

  • Vehicles for Victory: LSTs from Factory to Front
    Saturday, 12:30 pm & 3 pm, 45 minute presentation at the Talk stage in the Music Tent

    Factories across the nation built thousands of jeeps, tanks, halftracks, and trucks for the war effort. But shipyards had to build all the shipping to transport these vehicles across oceans and land them at the front. Learn about the most important of these vehicles for vehicles: the Landing Ship, Tank (LST).

  • (Wo)Man Power of Lowell
    Sunday, 11 am & 3:30 pm, 45 minute presentation at the Talk stage in the Music Tent

    During the early 1940s, women workers in Lowell, MA produced a variety of wartime goods, from parachutes and flight suits to twill for the U.S. Navy. This talk on “womanpower” will explore what women made, their fight for better work conditions, and how local ethnic tensions shaped the wartime work experience.


Last updated: August 7, 2018

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Mailing Address:

Charlestown Navy Yard
Boston , MA 02129


(617) 242-5601

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