For a couple of years Matt Tolentino of The Singapore Slingers has wanted Dallas to get on the same page as some other big cities and host a big, vintage-inspired event.
“Both New York and Los Angeles host huge and amazing Jazz Age inspired lawn parties, and the Dallas Jazz Age Sunday Social, while just beginning this year, could very well be one of the biggest, grandest, vintage-inspired events that Dallas has ever seen. Dallas Heritage Village is the ideal setting with its lush greens, new bandstand and historic setting. The Jazz Age Sunday Social offers something for everyone – couples, families, and all lovers of things vintage.”
The community is invited to don their best ’20s attire or walking whites and get ready to Charleston the afternoon away at the Inaugural Jazz Age Sunday Social with the Singapore Slingers and Razzmajazz as part of Dallas Heritage Village’s Family Past Times, Sunday, March 30, noon – 4 p.m., 1515 S. Harwood, Dallas, Texas 75215. Presented by Dallas Heritage Village and the Art Deco Society of Dallas, this jazz age inspired lawn party will surround the newly restored Van Cleave Bandstand with an afternoon of live music, dancing, costumes, games, picnics, antique cars, vendors, and more. Kids 12 and under free. All others: $10.
“We are looking forward to this fun, new event, which is the brainchild of our good friend Matt Tolentino of the Singapore Slingers,” said Melissa Prycer, Executive Director, Dallas Heritage Village. “This 18-piece jazz orchestra played at our inaugural History with a Twist fundraiser and will again at this year’s event on April 26. Matt’s love for vintage is evident not only in his daily wear, but in his founding of the Art Deco Society last year and in his ongoing efforts to preserve the music of generations past, bringing the music of yesterday to the modern audience of today.”
Learn vintage dance steps with instructor Elaine Hewlett of the Rhythm Room on the wooden dance floor set up on the lawn in front of the bandstand. Costumes are not required, but necessary for those wishing to participate in the 2:30 p.m. costume contest for best “Lawn Party Attire.” (Think vintage bathing beauties, parasols, walking whites.) Bring your cameras and pose in front of one of the Model A Fords on display from Vintage Coach. Select cars will also be available for rides. Try your hand at a game or two of croquet or badminton, tour the historic buildings of the village and visit with vintage vendors featuring clothing, jewelry, and antiques such as Tracy Popken, Savannah Hoffman Designs (vintage clothing), Ahoy Cruises (vintage-inspired cruises), Curiosities Antiques (collectibles), and Lush Life Antiques (vintage jewelry). Bring a blanket, lawn chairs and a picnic and soak up the atmosphere with your family. Enjoy turn of the century music by the 18-piece Singapore Slingers, the fox trot orchestra that the Dallas Observer calls, “the city’s coolest, quirkiest, retro jazz group” with five strings, four reeds, three brass, five rhythm players and event organizer Matt Tolentino leading the band. Razzmajazz will entertain guests with Dixieland Jazz and Swing Jazz performed in true MARDI GRAS / Roaring ’20s style, providing music and comedy with an emphasis on audience participation. In addition Bill Flynt and his 1923 Tangley steam calliope will fill the air with the sounds of Dallas’ original carefree lawn parties of the Roaring ’20s. Carnival Barker’s ice creams will be dishing up some delicious dessert, and Cokes, lemonade, and water will be available, all for purchase.
Guests will also love ongoing Dallas Heritage Village activities such as tours of the Millermore and Sullivan homes and learning about the Village's history through the cell phone tour. Kids may also play in the Learning Lounge with trains, Lincoln Logs and doll houses, and the Blum Brothers store will be open for young shopkeepers, shoppers, and postal workers. Nip and Tuck will also be busy giving their ever-popular rides around the Village for 25 cents a person. Additionally, kids may make hats in a special craft activity.
"It is our hope that the Dallas Jazz Age Sunday Social will bring flappers, dapper gents, live music, dancing, games, and shopping to one of the grandest vintage-inspired family events Dallas has ever seen," added Tolentino. "Please join us for a wonderful afternoon!"
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Dallas Heritage Village, located at Old City Park, is a nationally accredited history museum, depicting life in Dallas from 1840-1910. It is one of only five museums in the Dallas area to have this distinction. The grounds showcase 38 historic structures, including log cabins, the pre-Civil War Millermore home, a Victorian Main Street, a railroad complex, an 1860s farmstead with livestock, a 19th century church, school and more. Visitors discover how crops were grown, animals cared for and how family living progressed from log cabins to grand manors and Victorian homes. Dallas Heritage Village is supported, in part, by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts as well as individual and group donations. Dallas Heritage Village was nominated in 2011 and 2012 by D Magazine as one of the top Dallas-area family attractions. It is located at 1515 South Harwood, one block south of Farmers Market in Downtown Dallas. Hours of operation are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday, noon – 4 p.m. The Village is closed the months of January and August. Regular admission is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors 65+ and $5 for children ages 4-12. Children under 4 and members of Dallas Heritage Village are admitted free of charge. For more information call 214-421-5141 or visit www.DallasHeritageVillage.org
Matt Tolentino has made it his life’s mission to preserve traditional music for the modern audience and in the process has become Dallas’ chief purveyor of vintage style. At just 28 years old, he is the founder of the city’s Art Deco Society of Dallas, the inaugural Jazz Age Sunday Social, and band leader of The Singapore Slingers, an 18-piece orchestra that performs across the city at clubs and fundraising events. He is a preservationist, collector, historian, and student of all things historic. Tolentino is available for interviews, for a Q&As on the Jazz Age, and the latest updates Jazz Age Sunday Social. To learn more, visit Jazz Age Sunday Social on Facebook.