Secret passwords into a speakeasy offering “smuggled-in” booze are part of the fully immersive 1920s experience Oklahoma Historical Society is planning for its fundraising bash. The time-hop gala promises lives blues and jazz in a Prohibition-era barrelhouse, with dance instructors on hand for those who want the full flapper experience and to learn the Lindy Hop.
The historical-themed fundraiser is a first for the 120-year-old society, which saw the creation of its own center housing a research base and area for exhibitions just 12 years ago. Director of special projects Larry O’Dell says funds raised will go to the society’s Annual Giving Campaign for exhibits, collections, programming and events.
Considering the open bar available in the speakeasy, it shouldn’t be surprising that a police raid and protests from temperance supporters will also occur at the event, set for the Oklahoma History Center on Friday, Oct. 20.
“A Night in the Life: The Roaring Twenties” will offer a number of 1920s depictions to keep guests in the moment, including a reenactment of a hold-up by Oklahoma-raised bank robber Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd.
Nicole Harvey, executive assistant at the Oklahoma Historical Society, says this is the first in what she hopes will be many years of time-hop parties.
“We wanted to create an event that was not only fun, but an immersive experience for our guests,” she says. “This fundraising gala will help to raise funds both for the Historical Society and our flagship building, the Oklahoma History Center, as well as showing guests what it is that we do in an active and engaging way.”
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