Roaring 20's Speakeasy Theme Party

"Speakeasy...Also "speak." A term popular during Prohibition to describe an establishment selling illegal alcoholic beverages. In order to gain entrance, you had to speak in a low voice through a small opening in the back door and tell the attendant inside who it was who sent you to the place.

Invitations

You can custom order theme invitations online if you can't find what you want locally. Assign a secret password to guests to enter the party and have a male friend stand at the door to let guests in (after repeating the secret password to him!). Ask guests to arrive in costume. They can easily be rented from costume shops or purchased online. Women wore flapper dresses with fringe and wore their hair in short bobs (they can purchase a wig if desired to fully achieve the classic flapper look) and don't forget the long stands of pearls and cloche hats and feathered headbands which were a fashion must! Men can wear a zoot suit with the baggy, high-waisted, pinstriped paints with pegged legs and longer length matching jacket with wide lapels and padded shoulders and don't forget the fedora and wing-tipped shoes!

Decorations

Hang 1920's poster prints on your walls which can be purchased at poster shops or online Hit up estate sales, thrift stores etc.and stock up on some inexpensive art deco pieces.

Keep the lighting low in the room. If you don't have a dimmer switch, consider lighting with candles. Use table linens in rich, deep colors or black. If you want to keep the party a "no-smoking" party (smoking was much more popular then and speak-easies were always filled with cigarette smoke), you can light incense and place around the room to mimic the smoke. Calla lilies and ferns were popular then and can be used to decorate the room. Set up a bar on one side of the room. Set out bowls of pretzels and offer some of the popular drinks listed below. You can rent props online to use for your party such as cigarette girl trays, furniture, clawfoot bathtub, Victrola as well as other items you would find in a speakeasy.

Activities

Rent classic gangster style cars and drivers to pick guests up and deliver them safely home after the party. Learn and teach (or invite a dance instructor) to give your guests a Charleston dance lesson. They can also be taught the black bottom and Lindy Hop. Play popular 1920's jazz music. Rent a projection DVD player and large screen to play 1920's themed movies such as "The Untouchables" etc. Offer a prize to the couple with the best costume. Mah-Jong and crossword puzzles which were popular during the 1920's can be played. You can create your own 1920's themed crossword puzzles online and print them at home.

Food

Lots of "bathtub gin". Champagne Mixed drinks such as Brandy Sours, Minute Man Highballs, Stingers, Charleston Bracers, Martinis, Cholera Cocktails, Orange Gin Sparkles, Palm Beach Specials, Locomotives, & Whiskey Smashes were popular.
Chinese food became popular during the 1920's as well as Italian food which was very popular in speakeasies. Pastas, meatballs, rich meat sauces, veal cutlets with Parmesan cheese, stuffed clams, shrimp with wine and garlic and mozzarella eaten in huge chunks.
Bowls of pretzels at the bar
Assorted cakes for dessert served with venetian ice cream

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