Putting on the Ritz

Published 7:07 pm Monday, August 6, 2018

Del’avant will go through a time warp on Aug. 10 when the Troup County Historical Society’s Legacy Museum hosts “Putting on the Ritz.”

The jazz-themed gala and silent auction is expected to raise the majority of the archive’s annual budget, while providing an immersive experience for attendees to consider what life would have been like in the 1920s.

“Everybody loves a good party, so why not have a party with the ‘20s theme?” said Shannon Johnson, the executive director of the Troup County Archives. “So, we are going to have a party. We’ll have a band, and we have a bartender coming in to mix 1920s-themed cocktails. Of course, prohibition was a big part of the ‘20s, so people were making bathtub gin and bootleg liquor. So, cocktails became very big. The alcohol tasted terrible, so people started mixing drinks. That is where a lot of the cocktails that we know of today started.”

The building where the archives and museum are currently located was built in 1918. The idea for a ‘20s-themed party stemmed from the archives’ recent exhibits on LaGrange and Troup County in the years following the structure’s completion. Guests are encouraged to wear 1920s-inspired costumes or cocktail attire along with their dancing shoes.

“We have some dancers coming in to perform and dance with the crowd, [do] the Charleston,” Johnson said. “The music starts to change at that era as well. They will be dancing to what would have been new music.”

Following the party theme, the event will also feature a stock market game in honor of the famous stock market crash at the end of the decade.

“I’m hoping that between the music and the food, we’ll be able to have a little bit of a 1920s-immersive experience,” Johnson said.

The food will be cooked by Chef Jeffery Tucker.

The event will be far more than a fun night though. The gala is expected to make it possible for the Legacy Museum to continue to provide programs and exhibits to the community at little to no cost to visitors to the museum.

“It is a pretty substantial part of our budget,” Johnson said. “It is our major fundraiser for the year, and it will produce a nice chunk of our funding. It is primarily what keeps the museum open for free. We use the funds from this to produce all sorts of programing and exhibits and to bring children from the schools.”

The archives also works with homeschool students.

This year’s auction will include pieces titled “Speakeasy” and “Beesknees” by Annie Greene, as well as a variety of donations from local individuals and businesses.

For more information, call (706) 884-1828.