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Oklahoma Historical Society to host Roaring Twenties inaugural gala fundraiser


By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter

OKLAHOMA CITY — The public is invited to join the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) for an evening of Prohibition-era fun at “A Night in the Life: The Roaring Twenties” on Friday, October 20.  The event will be held from 7–10 p.m. at the Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in the Capitol Complex in Oklahoma City.

This inaugural fundraising event for the OHS and its flagship base of operations will be an evening set in the Roaring 1920s spotlighting three themed areas.

A Prohibition-era saloon or barrelhouse setting will feature live blues music.  Guests can mingle and merge in an area featuring food, a bar and dance lessons. A VIP  20’s era speakeasy will feature live jazz music and an open bar.

“We are excited to launch our 1st annual gala fundraiser,” said Larry O’Dell, Director of Special Projects/Development, Oklahoma Historical Society. “This year will be the “roaring 1920s.” In subsequent years we will focus on different time periods. We feel that we are well equipped to create an immersive history event. This will be one.”

With a focus on historical detail and fun, the event will allow guests to feel as if they have stepped back in time, with appearances by Will Rogers, a “hold up” by Pretty Boy Floyd, protests by temperance supporters and a police raid. Guests are encouraged to dress in time period attire and they will have the opportunity to add accessories to their costumes in the dress-up station.

Those in attendance will hear Harold Aldridge singing the blues at the Prohibition-era barrelhouse and Walter Taylor and Taylor Made Jazz playing jazz-era hits in the speakeasy. 

Dance instructors will teach 1920s favorites such as the Lindy Hop and the Charleston. Twenties décor is being generously provided by 110 Events.

Theatrical appearances are made possible through a partnership with Oklahoma City University.

There will be a cash bar available serving wine, beer, and a select number of special mixed drinks. An VIP open bar is available to speakeasy access ticketholders only.

In addition, there will be a “Throw your Friends in Jail” fundraising opportunity. Included in the OHS collections, the McAlester prison records from the 1920s–1930s will offer a menu of “offenses” such as poultry theft and armed robbery that will give guests a chance to go home with a replica of the prison card showing their offense and mug shot.

Event tickets are $40 for general admission. OHS member tickets are $35. VIP tickets for $100 include access to the speakeasy. OHS VIP member tickets are $80. The event is for guests ages 21 and older. 1920s-themed clothing is encouraged but not required.

Sponsors for “A Night in the Life: The Roaring Twenties” include 110 Events, Oklahoma City University, Brian Harvey’s American Youth Soccer Camps, Oklahoma Gazette, and Love’s Travel Shops.

The Oklahoma Historical Society was founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association. Its mission is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications.

Call 405-522-5202 or 405-522-0317 or visit to purchase tickets and for details about sponsorship opportunities.


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