A Perfect Day at the Jazz Age Lawn Party Every summer, hundreds of revelers in 1920s-inspired outfits converge on Battery Park, where they take the ferry to Governors Island. And every summer, the rest of New York City wonders just what exactly these vintage partiers are up to. It’s the Jazz Age Lawn Party, and here’s what you need to know.
Inspired by the Roaring Twenties and the speakeasies that arose during Prohibition, the Jazz Age Lawn Party celebrates the flappers, musicians and bootleggers of the era, bringing back ’20s dance steps, vintage fashion and classic cocktails on Governors Island.
August 13 and 14, 2016.
The Jazz Age Lawn Party takes place on Governors Island, accessible only by ferry.
From Manhattan: The Governors Island ferry departs from the Battery Maritime Building located at 10 South Street, next to the Staten Island Ferry in Lower Manhattan.
From Brooklyn: The ferry departs from Pier 6, at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Columbia Street.
Costumes aren’t technically required, but they’re a significant part of the day’s appeal. Dress to the nines in Roaring Twenties-inspired fashion, including:
Flapper dresses: straight and loose
Shift dresses: sleeveless dresses with no waistline
Cloche hats: bell-shaped hats for women were popular during the decade
High heels: in vogue at the time, 2-3 inches
Suit jackets Double-breasted vests
Straw boater hats
Pop-up shops on Governors Island, set up just for the event, sell clothes and accessories. This year, for the first time, Alpaca-wool clothier Goddess Godette will sell its hats and dresses, and menswear brand J. Press (started at Yale in 1902) will provide menswear and accessories.
Dance lessons: learn to dance the Charleston and other classic moves popular in the ’20s and ’30s. Brave souls can enter the Charleston Dance Contest.
Bathing promenade: even if you don’t sport a classic ’20s-style swimsuit as your outfit for the day, be sure to check out the other bathing beauties and beaus.
Antique motorcar exhibit: From the Ford Model T (also known as the Tin Lizzie) to flivvers (a cheap car in bad condition), check out how people got around back in the day.
Luckily, the days of Prohibition have ended, and the Jazz Age Lawn Party sells sparkling wines, beers and cocktails. The “official spirit” of the Jazz Age Lawn Party, St. Germain will be serving a cocktail made with the elderflower-flavored liqueur, sparkling wine, sparkling water and lemon ($12). It’s the perfect refresher on a hot summer day. This year, Metropolitan Seafood & Gourmet is return as the official food sponsor of the party. Expect grilled flank steak sandwiches, pasta salads, fresh watermelon, and La Mère Poulard biscuits.