Tucked away just south of downtown Dallas is a village frozen in time. But the historic buildings, the lush lawn, and the bandstand at Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park came roaring to life Sunday afternoon for the Fourth Annual Jazz Age Sunday Social.
Melissa Prycer is the President and Executive Director of Dallas Heritage Village, and she says there are a lot of people who love Dallas history, and “anytime we can bring people together who love history and discover different avenues and paths to the past, that’s what we’re all about here.” She has been surprised at the number of people who show up every year in costumes, some dressed head to toe in authentic 1920s fashion.
Elaine Hewlett from The Rhythm Room gave informal dance lessons in the Charleston and Fox-Trot while local favorites Matt Tolentino’s Singapore Slingers and the Three Quarters Fast Jazz Band played genuine 1920s tunes from the bandstand. Tolentino says there are lots of bands that focus on swing, so he aims to take listeners back a few decades and show some love to the music of Buddy DeSylva and the Gershwins.
Among the festivities was the raising of Dallas’ long-lost flag. This flag was first adopted by the city of Dallas in 1916 but was never widely produced. Dallas Heritage Village was able to have the flag recreated through the help of a crowd-funding campaign. The 50-foot flag cost about $4,000 to make, and the money came from about 90 individual donors. It will fly above DHV through the end of July.
Dallas Heritage Village aims to “collect, preserve, and teach the history of Dallas and North Central Texas” and is open 6 days a week most of the year. Lining the winding walkways, you’ll find a tiny church, a primitive schoolhouse, and a working blacksmith shop among other historic buildings. And once a year, the grounds are transformed into a rousing lawn party. A great way to spend a jazzy Sunday afternoon.