Roaring 20s Festival to make a flap

Blue Mountains flappers will attempt to break their own world record next month.

The charleston challenge will take place in Leura Mall on Saturday, February 1 as part of the Roaring 20s Festival and all that Jazz held from February 1 to 23. The challenge aims to set a new Guinness world record for the greatest number of costumed people to dance the charleston. The local event set the record last year with 276 dancers.

After dancing their way into history, revellers can retire to the white linen-covered tables under a marquee to indulge in a picnic hamper of locally made and sourced fare during the long lunch in Leura.

The first day of the festival will culminate in an art deco ball at the Carrington Hotel at Katoomba, herself kicking up her heels to commemorate her 130th birthday year.

The celebration of decadence, architecture and jazz music will continue with a dizzying round of costumed balls and high teas, historical walks, fashion parades, dancing and jazz music.

There will be 1920s-themed transport rallies such as the highlands steam and vintage fair at Oberon and trains, trams and model Ts at Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum; film nights; garden tours; murder mysteries; radio plays; vintage sports and more.

Jenolan Caves will commemorate the 1927 royal visit by the Duke and Duchess of York with an historic Chifley cave tour, a roaring 20s glamour and gowns ball at Lithgow and a boom and bust museum tour and garden party at Eskbank House at Lithgow.

Festival producer Sandy Luxford said: “I love the fashion of the 1920s: women were given the freedom to get rid of the corsets from their wardrobe, flatten down their breasts and wear comfortable straight dresses.

“I also love the vintage cars with their stunning brass details, wonderful wooden bows which hold the roof up and their great sense of style.’’

The festival has become such a roaring success that it now has an assistant producer, Angela Corkeron.

“The 1920s was a time to celebrate,” she said. “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 make-up, the short hair, shorter skirt lengths and, of course, the dancing and music.’’

Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism chairman Randall Walker urged festival goers to “spoil yourself with a short stay and become fully immersed in the halcyon era of extravagance’’.

“The 1920s was when the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region really came into its own and revelled in its glory as the nation’s premier tourist destination,” he said.

Registrations are now open for the Blue Mountains Charleston Challenge and bookings are welcome at other events. For more details go to www.roaring20s.com.au.

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