2016 Great Jazz Age Lawn Party

The 1920s are back every year at the Great Jazz Age Lawn Party!

The 1920s are back every year at the Great Jazz Age Lawn Party!

The 1920s are back, and come alive, every summer on Governors Island at the Great Jazz Age Lawn Party!

This is one of my favorite events of the year, each and every year.  I loved the 1920s when I was growing up!  We had Roaring Twenties records playing on the old hi-fi at our house in Roselle, New Jersey, all through the 1960s.  I knew the lyrics of every 1920s song, cold.  I loved them.

This may sound highly unusual, but whenever I see a movie about the 1920s, like my beloved Chicago, I actually breathe a sigh of relief.  “Thank goodness,” I say to myself, “look!  The clothing styles up there on the screen are back to normal, the hats and haircuts are ‘right’ again, and those beautiful cars are perfect!”  It’s almost like I lived back then and am glad to see everything put back to “my” era.  Then I catch myself.  Back to normal?    My era?  I was born in 1961, for God’s sake, and this wasn’t my era at all!  However, my grandmother had a large hand in raising me, and the Roaring Twenties were her era, which may help to explain at least some of this.

On the other hand, as the Great Jazz Age Lawn Parties always prove, I’m hardly alone in my preference for the era.  There are people at the party every year, dressed to the nines in 20s attire, and they clearly love it as much as I do.  Where fabulous styles are concerned, I don’t think the 1920s can be beat.  Women in cloche hats and long strands of pearls, men in boaters and summertime suits, the wonderful hopefulness in the post-World War I music – it just doesn’t get better than that!  It’s perfect.  It’s no accident that my first book was largely about vaudeville, set during my favorite time period, or that I plan to work on another set in 1924.

Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra are the sponsors of the event, which takes place every summer on Governors Island, an old and elegant army base.  To get there everyone takes the Governors Island Ferry, located right next to the Staten Island Ferry terminal in lower Manhattan.  If you live in the New York area and you missed the party this weekend, there will be another one in August!  I hope to see you there!  It’s magical.  It’s like time-traveling to another era, and one that you won’t be able to resist loving with all your heart.  Here’s the link: Dreamland Orchestra

Here’s a few more images from the party:




Shoppers looking for vintage clothing.


Piano Player.

Dreamland Orchestra

Dreamland Orchestra

The Gatsby Tent.

The Gatsby Tent.


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