The SS Red Oak Victory will be out of action during the sixth annual Home Front Festival on Oct. 13 in Richmond, but a stand-in ship will be there.

The historic USS Potomac, once the yacht of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, will steam over from the Port of Oakland and be moored in Richmond for visitors to tour at the celebration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South. Admission is free.

This year's celebration is themed "Rich in History -- Defined by Diversity," a salute to the people of every background who united during World War II to power the national defense effort and keep daily life functioning in the absence of those serving in the military.

Richmond is home to the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, and attendees can see the park's new Visitor Education Center that opened by the Craneway at the Ford Point building earlier this year.

The center is a good starting place to learn about the hardships, triumphs, social change and injustices of the war years, with lessons that are still relevant today.

"With the opening of the visitor center, we have an even greater platform for sharing the diverse stories of the home front," said Michelle Itagaki, executive director of the Richmond Convention & Visitors Bureau. "It's an opportunity to enjoy a spectacular day by the bay, with fun and inspirational activities for people of all ages and interests."

Next door at the expansive Craneway will be live entertainment all day. Performers will include The Elite Jazz Band, the Contra Costa Chorale, Conjunto Romero Band, The Originalz, the Big Fish Band, But-tah and Greg Ballad and the Dream Set.

An annual highlight gathers women who worked on the home front for the Rosie the Riveter reunion and photo.

Outside the Craneway will be activities, food, craft and other vendors, community booths, a classic car show hosted by the Kiwanis Club, military vehicles and a Kids Zone.

Another popular attraction is the Duck Tour, an amphibious vehicle that will take celebrants out on the Bay off the Richmond shoreline. The excursion is $12.

The day starts with the YMCA Home Front 5K/10K Fun Run/Walk, a well-attended jaunt along the scenic Bay Trail that starts at 9 a.m. Registration for the run/walk can be done at the Hilltop Family YMCA, 4300 Lakeside Drive, or online at www.onyourmarkevents.com.

  • The kickoff event to the Home Front Festival is the USO Dance, a swing and jitterbugging extravaganza from 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Craneway that this year pays tribute to Lena Horne.

    Admission to the dance is $20 advance, $25 at door (seniors $15 advance, $20 at door), and free to military service members in uniform or with ID. Advance tickets to the dance are available online at usodance2012-eorg.eventbrite.com.

    For more details on all of the festival weekend's events, visit www.rcoc.com.

    CHILI AND CLASSIC CARS: Expect a chili day in Rodeo on Oct. 13, as in con carne. Also expect some vintage creations from the motor city and entertainment and attractions for all ages at the annual Chili Cook-off and Car Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lefty Gomez Field, 470 Parker Ave.

    More than a dozen cooks will be preparing their best batches of homemade chili to compete for the cook-off's $400 grand prize, and visitors can get a tasting wristband for $10, as well as a voting ticket.

    Rounding out the Rodeo Chamber of Commerce festival, along with the more than 200 classic cars competing for trophies, will be children's activities, food, beer and margaritas, vendors and community tables and music all day.

    Admission is free.

    WEST COUNTY NOTES: A meeting to discuss and comment on the master plan being updated for the East Bay Regional Park District will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Bermuda Room of the Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza.

    The plan guides district decisions on expansion and maintenance of parks and trails and services it provides. Comments can also be made by email at info@ebparks.org.

  • The annual North Richmond Shoreline Festival, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, will have music, barbecue, dancing horses, free children's bike helmets, nature walks, birding and more at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, 5551 Giant Highway in Richmond.

  • The Pinole Chamber of Commerce will hold a dedication ceremony for the Community Corner, a former vacant lot at 2301 San Pablo Ave. in Old Town that was refurbished by volunteers for use as a public space, at noon on Oct. 13.

    Details: 510-724-4484.

  • Admission is free to the annual Harvest Faire at the East Bay Waldorf School, 3800 Clark Road, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct 13.

    The rain-or-shine event will feature crafts, arts, activities, entertainment and vendors to engage the boundless imagination of children.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.