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All That Jazz 1920's 18th Birthday Party Ideas
A little bit different for an 18th birthday party, and for some a little edgy why not break out the old jazz sounds and host a “Chicago” themed birthday party. Why would this be an edgy choice for a party you ask? Are you familiar with the musical “Chicago”? Based on the Chicago Tribune’s reporting’s of two murder trials of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner in 1924, by journalist Maurine Dallas Watkins. Later Maurine took these reports and made it into the now famous musical based on the infamous fictional characters; vaudevillian Velma Kelly and meagre chorus girl Roxie Hart and their using the corrupt justice system to garner celebrity status in the media in Prohibition era Chicago.
The 1920’s saw the banning of alcohol (known as Prohibition). Police worked around the clock breaking smuggling rings, and in Chicago the Windy City the jazz clubs were packed and in the back streets gangsters such as Al Capone bootlegged their way around and Speakeasy Clubs were the place to get into for a cocktail or two. Speakeasy clubs were the secret clubs which sold illegal alcohol, and some had set up nice little restaurants so their patrons could eat, drink and dance the night away. To get into a Speakeasy, one had to; through the small opening in the door speak in a low voice informing the guard who had sent you to the club.
How can you turn all this into an 18th birthday party? Why choose the musical Chicago as the theme? Why not? Turning 18 means that you can now vote can now go out to the clubs and of course enjoy a drink or two. The music, the atmosphere, the drama all adds to the fun of the event. Grab a copy of the Chicago musical DVD and see how Renee Zelweiger and Catherine Zeta-Jones get their Jazz on. Back then it was fame driven, glamorous, dangerous and sneaky. Have the guests arrive to a Chicago Speakeasy inspired club, dressed in 1920’s garb. They have to “speak in a low voice” through the opening to gain entry to your party. Have them walk through a cascade of stars, posing in front of a photo backdrop for a black and white photo.
Decorate using the colours of red decorations and black party decorations (prominent colours from the Chicago musical) with plenty of glitz and jazz music. Around the venue set up black, red and silver balloons, secured by a black glitz balloon weight, suspend big bold red paper ball lanterns and fairy lights for a glow. Add in the occasion burst from the smoke machine to give it the whole 1920’s club feel. Have tables decorated with white table cloths, small square vases filled with dark red roses and black and silver scatterfetti around it. Use elegant black baroque fames for the place cards and black and red gumball machines and or the Timeless Duet brushed metal bookmarks for bonbonniere. For menu ideas why not serve up a buffet with items like mini beef burger sliders, lamb kebabs with mint yogurt, French fries, pizza, pasta, chicken wings, and salads.
You can alternate red and black napkins, crockery and cutlery. On the cake table surround the birthday cake with red and clear crystal scatters and tea lights. Use the black and silver “Happy Birthday” candles and edible red glitter.
Have a dessert bar for something different. Amongst the dessert choices, decorate the table with rose petal scatters and feather boas. Fill black pails with red chocolate hearts and lips. Line up popcorn boxes, candy bowls and lollipop swirl bouquets. If it gets too warm then treat your guests with pretty paper fans to help cool them down as they also sip on champagne cocktails, mint juleps, spiced tea punch and sparkling fruity punch (both non-alcoholic options). Have your guests inscribe their birthday wishes in the Elizabeth black satin guest book and when it comes time to wrapping up the party, have each guest take a favour box filled with lollies and a thank you card.
For the 1920’s experience, shop on line at Australia’s #1 Party Shop.
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