If ever there was one event, reason or activity by which to remember New York City, I just might have to point to the Jazz Age Lawn Festival. Imagine stepping back in time (the Roaring 20’s to be exact), into the pages of The Great Gatsby, for a fabulous fete on an island just south of Manhattan, and that would be this celebration.
Ten years ago, a small gathering of era party enthusiasts got together and came up with the fabulous idea of paying homage to this elegant and elaborate epoch. The result was a two day, outdoor festival on New York’s Governor’s Island replete with music, magic and marvelous people watching. Then, when St. Germain joined forces with the team, a little master mixology helped round out the oh-so-glam gathering.
Recently, Michael Arenella, founder of the fab function, sat down with Gotham Magazine to discuss his love of the era and why it plays an important role in American history –
“The 1920s were a time of incredible disenchantments combined with incredible optimism. When people celebrated, they celebrated together”, he said.
A forever fan of this period, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a pair of tickets. After a little digging (they sell out quickly), and a few calls, I was ready to channel my inner Daisy Buchanan. Then, this past Sunday, I woke up bright and early for a day of 1920’s delight. Excited to be transported to this time, I pulled out my finest fringe frock, slipped on a pair of lace gloves, draped a black boa over my shoulders and buckled up my Mary Janes.
I dashed out of my apartment and down to the dock at South Street Seaport to jump on the ferry with one of my girlfriends. Within minutes, we were on Governor’s Island ready for the posh party. The joyous sounds of jazz floated through the air, people picnicked in the park and guests twirled in twos as I watched in awe.
Overall, it was an absolutely amazing affair and despite the heat and rain (I know, the middle of August is a silly time for this type of thing), this prohibition style party was definitely one that will go down in history!