Roaring 20s Lawn Party celebrates history, preservation

The Roaring Twenties is more than just a chapter in a history book — it could be one of the top lawn parties in Milford. 

Now in its fifth year, the annual Roaring 20s Lawn Party is easily the largest yearly fundraiser benefiting the Milford Museum.

This year’s event will be held Friday, May 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Causey Mansion Bed & Breakfast. Built in 1763, the inn predates the city of Milford itself and has seen centuries of change, including the prohibition era which begin in 1920.

The 1920s was a time when cigarette holders were fashionable for women, and men wore suits by day. Women were given the right to vote, and Babe Ruth played the crux of his career during the 1920s.

Drinking alcohol was frowned upon by the religious and pious crowd, and gangsters like Al Capone seized the opportunity. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Capone joined the Colosimo mob based in Chicago. Illegal brewing, distilling and beer and liquor distribution were crimes of the day often perpetuated by his mob.

Prohibition lasted until 1933 when it was abolished with the passing of the 21st Amendment.

Volunteers in Milford thought what better way to party in style than to celebrate the end of the prohibition. Their event remains the largest fundraising event for the Milford Museum.

“We will be providing heavy hors d’oeuvres of foods that were popular in the 1920s along with tastings from local breweries, distilleries and wineries,” Milford Museum Executive Director Claudia Leister said. “You will have to join us to discover just what ingredients create the ‘Bee’s Knees’ and ‘Scofflaw’ libations.” 

Guests will also enjoy “The Dapper DJs,” an award-winning disc jockey group bringing authentic vintage-inspired sounds and maybe even some dance lessons from the era.

Silent auction and live auction items will be available throughout the night. Local artist Nadia Zychal will auction off her handcrafted, original poster created solely for the Roaring 20s Lawn Party, again this year, which has fetched hundreds of dollars in past years.

“It’s a great way to support our museum. I like to do whatever I can to support my community. Creating some art, enjoying some jazz music, dancing and imbibing some forbidden elixirs at the most beautiful garden in Milford is the most fun way I can think of to do that,” she said.

Tickets for the event are $55 per person and can be purchased online, at the museum or at Maggie’s Milford Friends & Antiques on Walnut Street.

“We hope people come after work, start their weekend with a fun time and then they have two more days to sleep in and enjoy the rest of their weekend,” Ms. Leister said. “This fundraiser helps our operating budget, so we can continue serving more people each year. Not just the from here’s but the come here’s are finding us. We had visitors from 25 different states last year. We have around 3,000 visitors each year. And we can’t do that without support.”

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