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“The Roaring Twenties” Planning A 2020 Centennial

“The Roaring Twenties” Planning A 2020 Centennial

The year 2020 marks the centennial of the Roaring Twenties. The glitz and glam of the bygone era will burst back to life in grand celebrations throughout the Lowcountry. Ballrooms will be transformed into speakeasies, and hot Jazz Bands will resurrect timeless hits like “The Charleston.” As an event entertainment professional, and one-half of the vintage-style performance duo Gracie & Lacy, I will share some of my favorite 1920s-themed event ideas to help you plan a soiree that the Great Gatsby himself would envy!
Photo credit: Gracie & Lacy, SSL Entertainment, Adam Bradley

Art Deco decor will help you recreate the era. Many choose black, white and bling as their theme. Watch Old Hollywood classic films for inspiration. If you prefer “talkies” over silent films, look for films after 1927. Replace floral arrangements with feathers and beads. You might even consider hosting your event in an historic venue. In the 1920s, The Francis Marion Hotel was the place to be seen, and the Riviera Theater while built in 1939, boasts fabulous Art Deco murals and architectural style as does the American Theater. For more inspiration, other local examples of this style of architecture and design are the former Kress Five and Dime and Chase Furniture buildings in downtown Charleston.
Photo credit: createdbyxti.com, Catchmyparty.com

Give your attendees a reason to dress up and go out on the town. In a world of endless tweets and selfies, invite your guests to don their fedoras and pearls and host a costume contest! We have found that this is a great way to engage everyone in the fun. Make them feel like movie stars with a red carpet entrance, and perhaps an exuberant team of paparazzi as they step out of that classic car you hired for the occasion.
Photo credit: roaringtwentieslawnparty.org, weddingtopia.co

Don’t be intimidated by the attire – gents will look dapper adding a vest or suspenders, and a perfectly slanted fedora to their suits.  Ladies will keep in mind that hairlines and hemlines (and grandmothers eyebrows) were raising to new heights in the twenties.  There are plenty of 1920s remake dresses available online, however, a knee-length cocktail dress can be transformed by adding long strands of pearls, gloves, and a sparkly forehead band.  Be sure to remind the femme fatale sort the perils of hiding a flask of gin in their garters, after all it is Prohibition!
Photo credit: roaringtwentieslawnparty.org, Belmond Charleston Place

Music will be particularly important, as it was a hallmark of the era. Consider some of Charleston’s finest entertainers. Pianist extraordinaire Thomas Bailey is a staple at elegant restaurant bars and special events. With over 4000 songs in his repertoire, you can be sure he will know just what to play to set the mood for your cocktail hour. Another local favorite is is Tesoro, a guitar and violin duo that provide elegant selections while dressed in snazzy vintage-inspired attire, which not to brag, just might have been purchased in Paris!
Photo credit: SSL Entertainment: Thomas Bailey, Tesoro

After dinner, it’s time to surprise your guests with a live Gracie & Lacy show. Guests will feel like they’ve stepped back in time to one of New York’s elegant Golden Era clubs with hot jazz hits and tap dancing. When we bring along our Legends Band, it is always fun to bring the instrumentalists down into the crowd – this might be the only chance you get to see your CEO dancing “The Charleston” so get your cameras ready!
Photo credit: Gracie & Lacy, SSL Entertainment, Adam Bradley

As you plan your roaring twenties events, keep in mind that this a wonderful time to honor strong women. In 1920 the 19th Amendment was ratified in the United States granting women the right to vote. You could host a historical reenactment of the first vote, or create displays recognizing famed suffragists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and others. The coming year will give us a great opportunity to plan fun and meaningful events, as we reflect on where we’ve been and where we are headed. Don’t forget, the throwback theme can last the whole decade – happy planning, darlings!
Photo credit: roaringtwentieslawnparty.org

For your 2020 centennial, New Years, anniversary party, milestone birthday or any other special occasions, find expert sources to plan all of your Charleston parties and events at OccasionsGuide.com!

Special thanks to Lacy Davis for providing content.