It’s just a ‘Lindy hop,’ skip and a jump back in time

A photo essay from the Bootlegger’s ball

By Chris Rugowski

Stepping back in time to the roaring 1920’s, Heritage Hill, 2640 S Webster Ave, in partnership with Zambaldi Beer hosted the Bootlegger’s Ball Friday, Feb. 25.

While the event focused on teaching the history of beer making, people didn’t hesitate to make the most of the drinks and dance lessons provided throughout the evening.

No password was needed and no authorities were shutting down this party as the Flappers, Sheiks and Clubman arrived, and began their journey back in time.

The real party was in the downstairs of the welcome center at Heritage Hill, which was converted to a speakeasy. 

You might wonder how this kind of event relates to Heritage Hill in the first place, Director of Sales & Private events, Amanda Grissette said, “Cheese factories were really well-known to be bootlegger locations. They’d make beer on top of the cheese, of course this was really well known in Wisconsin. We tie that into the event.”

Grissette also said of the event, “This event shows off the space and what it can be used for. Coming off a closure for the winter, in addition to the pandemic, we wanted to get our name out there and in a new spotlight.”

Molly Roffers-Susa hams it up in her period costume as she enjoys a jig or two on the dance floor
Is this a safe house or Heritage Hill State Park? Heritage Hill State Park, 2640 S Webster Ave, in partnership with Zambaldi Beer hosted their first Bootlegger’s Ball Friday, Feb. 25
Upstairs Zambaldi beer was on hand to pour suds into period-style glasses instead of into the streets (an occurrence during prohibition)
Providing the entertainment for the Speakeasy was Oshkosh based, jazz-style duo Sundae and Mr. Goessl playing covers from the era along with original pieces to keep people hoofing
Party goers Melisa Young and Josh Bahr got their chance to do the Charleston as did other folks who participated in dance lessons offered at the event as well. The lessons were repeated a few times throughout the night with new dances added as the evening continued, making the event the ‘bees knees’
No password was needed as party-goers were welcomed with posters detailing the timeline of events from prohibition
Matt Weigand proudly waves an anti-prohibition sign as he samples some suds at the Bootlegger’s ball
While the event focused on teaching the history of beer making, people didn’t hesitate to get their ‘Charleston’ on a little later in the evening

Chris Rugowski is a photojournalist from Green Bay, Wisconsin. He mainly focuses on event photography, with an emphasis on bands and music. When he’s not doing live event photography, he focuses on landscapes and macro as well as writing narrative pieces to accompany photos. His work can be found here.

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