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Roaring 1920s Jazz Party Takes Over Governors Island

Governors Island is taking a trip back to the 1920s this weekend -- for an outdoor Jazz Age-era party.

From flappers to tappers, guests are expected to don their best period costumes for dancing and dining. The two-day party includes a live band, a dance floor and lessons, vintage cars and clothing vendors.

In a testament to the allure of the Jazz Age, the biannual summer event is now in its seventh year. In years past, it has been well-attended by Manhattan and Brooklyn residents who hop on the free ferry to Governors Island.

Ken Jackson, a history professor at Columbia University, says the 1920s are widely considered to be a fun and liberating “breakout” period – especially for women who were then living in big cities like New York.

“Places like Manhattan and the Bronx and Brooklyn where there’s density, there’s anonymity -- people could do what they wanted to,” he said. “And when we think of the Roaring ‘20s, it’s about alcohol, it’s about cigarettes, it’s about dancing … if it’s not sex, sexuality. And it’s about music.”

The Jazz Age Lawn Party runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost $15.

The summer's second weekend lawn party will be held on August 18 and 19.

Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra are an annual fixture at the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island.
Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra are an annual fixture at the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island. ( Gabi Porter )
There's also a pie contest.
There's also a pie contest. ( Rosalie Knox )
Roddy Caravella's Varsity Syncopators, performing at the Jazz Age Lawn Party
Roddy Caravella's Varsity Syncopators, performing at the Jazz Age Lawn Party ( Rosalie Knox )
Classic cars from the 1920s are also on display.
Classic cars from the 1920s are also on display. ( Flickr4Jazz )
Michael Arenella leads the band.
Michael Arenella leads the band. ( Flickr4Jazz )
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