Wow another great year for the Jazz Age Lawn Party in the books! Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra present the Jazz Age Lawn Party every year on two summer weekends. (Yes, there is still time to go there is an August weekend also!) The Jazz Age Lawn Party is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a 1920s twenties themed party that is on Governors Island in an open lawn. Everyone is dressed up to the T and looks fabulous. It’s basically a huge picnic where you can bring your own blankets, food, and beverages if you would like. However there is no alcohol allowed, but it’s a 1920s party, just bootleg it man! You don’t have to bring your own alcohol though because St. Germain helps produce the event and provides specialty cocktails that are delicious. However, they’re standard NYC prices: $10-$14 a drink.
The lawn party is pretty large and it includes a huge dance floor with a stage for the orchestra, a second smaller dance floor, several vendors that sell 1920s theme clothing and accessories, and even space for a Ford model T and some other vintage cars. The lawn party is on Governors Island, which is a beautiful green space with old mansions that really makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time. However there’s only one way to get to Governors Island: the ferry. The event opens at 11 AM, but I would recommend getting the 10 AM ferry because the line gets long quick! But that is pretty hard on a Saturday I have to admit. One of my friends missed the 10 AM ferry two years in a row. I have to say you have to be very dedicated to do this event right.
Because its a picnic / lawn party, there are no chairs there are no benches there is no place to sit provided by the event. You have to bring your own blankets, chairs, and whatever else you would like to basically camp out with. I brought two blankets, a low folding chair so I could be at the same I level with everyone who is sitting on a blanket, small mini folding table, and I even got a mini crocheted tablecloth to make it more 20s. I used a grocery cart to carry everything with me, because it is a little bit of a walk from the ferry to the actual event location. I was also lucky enough to have my boyfriend drive me down to the ferry pickup location and then drove me back home when I wanted to leave (It took a while for him to agree do it, but I was very happy that he did, and I love him!). Because you’re not allowed to bring alcohol the line for drinks is always really really long. So don’t pick your picnic spot near the bar.
I would also recommend bringing some snacks and lots of water. There are food trucks and food vendors at the event, however in my experience food trucks can easily underestimate how many people will come and can sometimes run out of food (Just to clarify this is never happened at Jazz Age, but it has happened in other events that I’ve gone to). They were also charging four dollars ($4!) for bottled water. My friends and I collectively brought couscous, a tart, two types of brie (a kind of soft cheese), three types of crackers, chips and salsa, cupcakes, and 12 bottles of water. There was probably more food and drinks but I can’t remember anymore, there was just so much stuff!
For all you OCD / germaphobic people, I do have to warn you: the bathrooms are all porta-potties. But it comes with any outdoor event, so you shouldn’t be surprised.
Also, very important, don’t forget your sunscreen! I got really burned because the forecast was for rain, but it turned out to be a beautiful and extremely sunny day. I was thankfully wearing Supergoop’s CC cream on my face, so I didn’t get there.