By Ellen Hill, Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism
It’s almost time to clad your chassis (female body) in your glad rags (“going out on the town’’ clothes) for a copacetic (wonderful) time to celebrate the opulent era when Australia’s first tourist destination kicked up its heels for a decade-long party.
The Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism Roaring 20s Festival and all that Jazz will be held throughout the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region from February 7 to 22, and is for any egg (person who lives the big life) who loves a shindig (party).
The festival will again kick off with the Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge at the newly re-opened Hydro Majestic Hotel, conveniently opposite Medlow Bath railway station, on Saturday, February 7.
The challenge aims to break its own Guinness World Record for the greatest number of costumed people to dance the Charleston. It set the record with 276 in 2013, 319 in 2014 – let’s make it 350 in 2015. Registrations are now open via the festival website.
The celebration of decadence, architecture and jazz music will continue with a dizzying round of costumed balls and high teas, historical walks, fashion parades, outrageous dancing and jazz music.
There will be the exquisite Long Lunch with gourmet food and wine event at an exciting new venue, 1920s-themed transport rallies and film nights, garden tours, murder mysteries, radio plays, vintage sports and more.
Popular TV personality Claudia Chan Shaw will again be festival patron and Charlotte Smith, curator of The Darnell Collection of International Vintage Couture, will be its ambassador.
Festival director Angela Corkeron said it was a great opportunity for locals and visitors to dress up and relive the era of true extravagance.
“The 1920s was a time to celebrate – the drudgery of World War I was gone, people were happy and kicked up their heels to show it.
“Everything was almost a dare: the fashion, the makeup, ladies’ traditionally long hair was cut short, skirt lengths rose so that one caught a glimpse of elegant ankles and the dancing was matched by the fabulous rise of jazz and ragtime music.’’
Definitely not for a flat tyre (dull-witted, insipid, disappointing date) or Mrs Grundy (priggish, tight-laced person), the festival is the calendar highlight for flappers (stylish, brash, hedonistic young woman with short skirts and hair), fly boys (glamorous term for aviator), owls (person who’s out late) and any Sheba (woman with sex appeal) or sheik (man with sex appeal) out to whoopee (have a good time).
Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism chairman Daniel Myles said: “The Roaring 20s Festival has brought the chutzpah back to the original hedonistic holiday destination and given people yet another reason to visit.
“The grand hotels of the era – the Carrington, Mountain Heritage and now the Hydro Majestic – have, one by one, been restored back to their glorious heyday and are now overflowing with the wonderful characters they were made for.
“Then there’s the Glamour & Gowns Ball at Lithgow’s Civic Ballroom, which was spectacularly decked out last year, and everyone can experience the age of steam and industry at the Highlands Steam & Vintage Fair at Oberon.’’
So get a wiggle on, don a swanky outfit and shake your gams (a woman’s legs) for a hotsy totsy (pleasing), nifty (great) time of sumptuous architecture, costume balls and high teas, saucy clothing, outrageous (for the time) dancing and jazz music.
Stay a night or three and fully immerse yourself in the era.
Go to roaring20s.com.au for more information about the Roaring 20s Festival and all that Jazz.
Go to visitbluemountains.com.au for accommodation, dining and activity options.