Thursday, July 3, 2014


ST. LOUIS – The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron will welcome visitors at its free RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit at Fair Saint Louis. RISE ABOVE is a truly unique opportunity for the young and the young-at-heart to not only learn, but experience the inspiring story of the www.redtail.orgTuskegee Airmen while being immersed in a theatrical experience. The exhibit will be accompanied by Lt. Col. George Hardy, an original Tuskegee Airman, who will share with visitors his experiences during WWII. There is no charge to visit the exhibit, which will be located at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium in Forest Park, and will be open to visitors July 2-5 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.  Fair Saint Louis has garnered national attention as one of America’s most spectacular Independence Day celebrations. The celebration, which hosts national recording artists and offers activities for visitors of all ages, is free and open to all St. Louisans and their guests. The complete schedule of events is available at

The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit features a mobile ‘big’ screen theater with a customized 53' trailer with expandable sides that houses a 160-degree panoramic curved movie screen and seating for 35 in climate-controlled comfort.  It showcases a short, original movie titled "RISE ABOVE," which transports audience members back to World War II to demonstrate what it was like to be a black airman during that era. Audiences get to see the obstacles faced by America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel, known today as the Tuskegee Airmen, as they worked toward their goal of becoming U.S. Army Air Corps pilots in the early 1940s.  At the conclusion of the film, audiences experience the excitement and thrill of flying the world’s greatest fighter aircraft, the P-51 Mustang, in formation, aerobatics, a break and a few low passes.  Filmed with a 180-degree lens along with the state-of-the-art theater design, the movie experience gives attendees the feeling that they are actually flying in the airplane. 

“The exhibit is truly a one-of-a-kind adventure similar to something you would experience at Disneyland,” said Brad Lang, CAF Red Tail Squadron Leader. “The overall message is about rising above to reach your potential no matter your circumstances; the film uses the story of the Tuskegee Airmen and the story of the CAF Red Tail Squadron to inspire young people to achieve their potential, but the message resonates with all ages because of the unique and interactive way it is told.  This is an experience you won’t want to miss.”

On July 2 & 3, the RISE ABOVE exhibit will open its doors to St. Louis area youth groups between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. While members of the general public can still view the exhibit on these days, reservations for special youth group showings of the film are currently being accepted. In addition, all youth under the age of 18 who visit the exhibit on July 2 & 3 will receive a free dog tag highlighting RISE ABOVE’s inspirational messages, encouraging kids to aim high, believe in themselves, use their brains, be ready to go, never quit and expect to win. The theater can accommodate 30-35 individuals for each showing. Youth groups interested in scheduling a viewing may call Marvona Welsh at 812-240-2560.

For more information, visit or call (432) 563-1000.  For additional information about the CAF Red Tail Squadron, visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

About the CAF:
In 1957, a small group of ex-service pilots pooled their money to purchase a P-51 Mustang, http://www.commemorativeairforce.orgbeginning what is now called the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). With the addition of a pair of F8F Bearcats, the CAF became the founders of the Warbird Movement, an effort to preserve and honor our military history with the rallying cry to “Keep ‘Em Flying!” Now, 55 years later, the CAF is the premier Warbird organization, operating 156 vintage aircraft in Honor of American Military Aviation. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 10,000 members and its fleet of historic aircraft is distributed to 80 units located in 24 states for care and operation. For more information, visit or call (432) 563-1000. 

About the Fair Saint Louis Foundation:
The Fair St. Louis Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, operates the Fair each year and the Celebrate St. Louis Summer Concerts,  and has donated numerous gifts to the St. Louis Community in conjunction with these events. Over the years, the foundation has contributed to the lighting of the Eads Bridge, the Mississippi River Overlook and the mile-long Riverfront Promenade, and was a partner in providing the Grand Staircases beneath the Arch as part of the National Park System

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