By Ellen Hill – Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism
The 2014 Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge has officially beaten its own Guinness World Record.
The community dancing event was held in Leura Mall thanks to Leura Village Association on February 2 as part of the Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism annual Roaring 20s Festival and all that Jazz!.
Participants travelled from as far afield as the NSW Far North Coast and Queensland dressed in 1920s gear eager to high kick the previous record of 276 participants set at the 2013 attempt.
After months of anticipation and submitting a copious amount of written, photographic and film evidence of the attempt, confirmation of the “Largest Charleston dance’’ in history was received from Guinness Book of World Records in England by the official regional tourism organisation on August 12.
The official letter reads: “We are delighted to confirm that you have successfully achieved a new Guinness World Records title for `Largest Charleston dance’. We would like to congratulate you on your record-breaking achievement. You are OFFICIALLY AMAZING.’’
Roaring 20s Festival director Sandy Luxford thanked all participants during the past three challenge attempts: “Not only have people continued to take part, they have brought friends with them, determined to set higher records each year.
“One of the requirements of the Charleston Challenge is that participants must be in costume to qualify and everyone does, which creates a wonderful festive atmosphere of fun and community. That’s what the Blue Mountains has been renowned for years.’’
BMLOT chairman Daniel Myles said: “The Roaring 20s Festival is a marvellous showcase of the region and gives people yet another chance to kick their heels up and party – how very 1920s, how very tourism and hospitality.
“The great thing about the Charleston Challenge is that anybody and everybody can join in.’’
The Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge has traditionally launched the Roaring 20s Festival and all that Jazz, which will again be held at various venues throughout the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region throughout February 2015.
The 2015 Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge will be held on Saturday, February 7, when it is hoped the record will be smashed once more with 350 dancers.
“This is a great opportunity to plan ahead, book a bed at one of the many accommodation venues in the area and really let your hair down and relive the 1920s,’’ Mr Myles said.
“We’ve even got hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs, restaurants and cafes and retail shops from the era so the scene has already been set.’’
The Roaring 20s Festival and all that Jazz pays homage to the decade when the region cut loose in an endless round of hedonism – sumptuous architecture, costume balls and high teas, saucy clothing, outrageous (for the time) dancing and jazz music.
Go to http://www.roaring20s.com.au for more information about the Roaring 20s Festival and all that Jazz.