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9th Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party, Aug 16 and 17 on Governors Island

Michael Arenella, who leads the Dreamland Orchestra, conceived and hosts the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island, now in its 9th year.
Michael Arenella, who leads the Dreamland Orchestra, conceived and hosts the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island, now in its 9th year.
© 2014 Karen Rubin/

Revel in nostalgia and fantastic Big Band swing music with Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra for a Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island, August 16 and 17, 11 am-5 pm.

Michael Arenella and Dreamland Orchestra host the 9th Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party, Aug. 16 and 17 on Governors Island, New York.
© 2014 Karen Rubin/

The enchantment begins as you board the ferry from South Street for the short ride to Governors Island. You think you have stepped back to the 1920s - crowds of giddy people are dressed in flapper dresses and linen suits. And dancing shoes. And you realize this isn't just any ride in the park.

People take lavish picnics, join in dance classes, and enjoy the entertainment - in June, there was a fashion show of Jazz Age bathing suits, choreographed dance numbers.

And if you forgot to wear a 1920s outfit, there are vintage clothiers from which you can buy or rent.

A delightful array of performances abound throughout the day, including:

MICHAEL ARENELLA AND HIS DREAMLAND ORCHESTRA, the star of the day's events, is one of the world's great Jazz Age dance band, specializing in the Hot-Jazz of the 1920s. Conductor, composer, musician and singer Michael Arenella presents a personally transcribed songbook for your listening and dancing pleasure.

A grand Art Deco spectacle invoking the great Ziegfield

This fun-loving dance troupe conjures the rebellious yet exuberant spirit of Roaring ‘20s youth

Feuding vaudevillian lovebirds quarrel, coo and make beautiful music together

The Queen’s vocals pay tribute to jazz royalty of yore

The world’s greatest piano man

Tap dance darlings delight with fancy footwork

And there's more. The day's events also include: dance lessons, to learn the hottest dance steps of the time; vintage portraits; Bathing Beauties and Beaus Promenade (in period costumes!); 1920s motorcar exhibition; Charleston Dance Contest; Antique Gramaophones that bring to life original recordings from the 1920s; for the kids, carnival games with prizes; and a Pie Contest (categories include "Mom's Best" "Best Savory" "Most Original" and "Hobo's Choice" (For entry email:

It's a hoot.

See slideshow.

Karen Rubin, Eclectic Travel Examiner


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