Last year, around 1,400 people showed up at the “Roaring Twenties Lawn Party” in Ipswich, and this year, organizer Mike Hibarger expects even more. The third annual 1920s-themed affair will return to the picturesque grounds of Castle Hill on the Crane Estate on August 2.
“We’re expecting double the number of attendees,” says Hibarger, president of Boston Swing Central, the group that hosts the festivities in collaboration with The Trustees of Reservations. “It’s growing.”
A steady increase in attendance and the need for far-in-advance planning to reserve the Crane Estate have compelled Hibarger to think bigger. This year, the event will offer overflow parking at Crane Beach, where a shuttle will meet guests and bring them to the party. Next year, the date will change from a Sunday to a Saturday, and in 2017, the “Roaring Twenties Lawn Party” will become a two-day affair.
For now, the format of the event remains largely the same—attendees are encouraged to don Gatsby-esque attire and do the Lindy hop and Charleston to the tunes of Baby Soda Jazz Band. This year, in addition to vocalist Tamar Korn, the band will be joined by Gordon Webster, a renowned pianist in the world of swing. Boston Swing Central will offer a swing dancing lesson at 3 p.m. and a Charleston lesson at 5 p.m.—no experience or partners are required. Additionally, local dance troupes will put on performances.
Attendees will once again be able to pre-order a lawn picnic from Ferreira Foods—the deadline is July 31—to be picked up at the party. But this year, the caterer will also sell food on-site, in addition to seafood from Off the Hook Ipswich, ice cream from White Farms Homemade Ice Cream, craft beer from Ipswich Ale Brewery, and wine from Mill River Winery.
Another new feature this year is the Dandy Dash, which will take place instead of the vintage costume contest. It will send participants racing up Castle Hill, overcoming a few obstacles along the way.
“I think you have to run and hit a croquet ball through a croquet wicket, and there’ll be some other surprises,” says Hibarger. “It’ll be an interesting race.”
Green Door Labs, a Somerville-based group that creates location-based games—like “Murder at the Met”—will also be at the party to offer an interactive mystery game.
In addition to dancing and games, there will be vintage cars to explore and even ride around in, as well as a Vintage Fair, featuring local clothing companies and haberdasheries, to peruse. Hibarger also recommends visiting these vendors beforehand, while putting together a costume for the event. Bobby from Boston is located in the South End, Salmagundi is in Jamaica Plain, and Gypsy sells at the SoWa Vintage Market, while the others can be found in nearby towns and online.
“A lot of ’20s men’s fashions are popular now—that’s fairly easy. Women’s fashion is a little bit trickier. I don’t know where you get those flapper dresses,” admits Hibarger, although he does suggest searching for them on Etsy and eBay.
Can’t find the perfect vintage outfit? Don’t sweat it. “Truth be told, there will be people there dressed casually,” he adds.
The “Roaring Twenties Lawn Party” takes place on Sunday, August 2, 3-8 p.m. (rain date: Sunday, August 9) at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, located at 290 Argilla Road in Ipswich. Gates will open at 2 p.m.
Advance tickets ($25 per person, $20 for students, seniors, and Trustees of Reservations members) will be available until midnight on July 19 and will be mailed out along with a miniature replica of a vintage poster that can be purchased for an extra $10 on-site.
Day-of tickets will also be available at $30 per person, $25 for students, seniors, and Trustees of Reservations members. Children 10 and under will be admitted for free.
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