Picnic on the lawn at the Jazz Lawn Party on Governors Island in New York City, hosted by Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra (Photo: Lev Radin)
Fall is here and while we are looking forward to all the celebrations of the fall and winter seasons, we still hold onto those last few summer days and the memories of those crazy, lazy, hazy days of summer. One event in New York City that embodies those hazy days of summer is the annual Jazz Lawn Party on Governors Island. This delightful event was started 12 years ago and has grown in popularity with each passing year. The Jazz Lawn Party was conceived by Michael Arenella, who with his Dreamland Orchestra played all the favorites from days gone by.
This prohibition-era inspired gathering is a throwback to the Jazz Age which attracts over 20,000 fans over two weekends in June and August. This year’s gathering was no exception, there was dancing and picnicking and frolicking in the sun, the perfect way to spend a summer weekend. Definitely the occasion to wear that flapper dress or bow tie, fans turned up in their finest 1920s and 30s outfits. Once you step onto the ferry towards Governors Island you are heading back in time for this spectacular summer tradition.
The Jazz Age Lawn Party takes places over two weekends every summer, so if you are in New York City in the summer time, this is an event not to be missed. The first weekend this year was June 10 and 11, and the second weekend was August 26 and 27 at Colonel’s Row on Governors Island.
Tickets for the event go from $55 for General Admission all the way up to $5,000 for a group (up to 15 guests) with access to a private tent. Regardless your budget, a good time is to be had by all, and this year way no exception.
To cool off guests enjoyed refreshing cocktails, ice cold beer, lemonade and there were plenty of food vendors and food trucks serving tasty fare. A truly well organized event paying homage to the roaring 20s.
The event is a highlight on New York’s social calendar: “I can’t think of a more delightful way to spend a weekend in the city”, – Bill Cunningham, The New York Times 2014
The Jazz Lawn Party remains the city’s largest and most spectacular retro jazz event. Performances over the weekend included headliner Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra, Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society, The Dreamland Follies, pianist Peter Mintun, and Queen Esther, along with jazz-era dance troupe Roddy Caravella and the Canarsie Wobblers.
If you are in New York City, love retro music and dressing up, this event is for you!