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Blue Mountains: Roaring `20s Gangster Casino Night


Roaring 20s Festival patron Claudia Chan Shaw. Photo: David Hill

By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group

In the tradition of Al Capone, Dutch Schultz and Bugsy Siegel, the original Blue Mountains party palace will reawaken the spirit of its Roaring `20s heyday when the Hydro Majestic Hotel holds a Gangster Casino Night on Friday, February 5.

The event, which will kick off Roaring 20s-themed events at the hotel during that weekend, will celebrate the era of breaking with tradition, crooks and prosperity.

Guests can play Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, The Money Wheel with Majestic Money at casino-quality tables with professionally trained casino standard croupiers.

Prizes on the night will include accommodation packages, dinner and show tickets, day spa and high tea packages and more.

An 18 years plus age restriction applies for this event, which will be held from 9pm to 11pm.

Net proceeds from the event will go to CareFlight aeromedical charity. Donation receipts are available on the night for cash-in purchases only.

Established in 1986 with a mission to save lives, speed recovery and provide the highest standard of rapid response critical care, CareFlight has since helped more than 5000 patients a year.

CareFlight relationship development manager Andrew Whitelaw said: “CareFlight’s first mission, close to thirty years ago was flying two children after an accident in Lithgow. From those early beginnings, CareFlight has continued to service the greater Blue Mountains communities. Without the generous support of these communities, we would not be able to take off – literally.’’

Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said the luxury hotel group was pleased to help CareFlight, which often assisted other emergency services with search and rescue, lost bushwalkers and urgent medical transportation by highly trained and qualified medical staff.

The Gangster Casino Night would provide the pinch of outrageousness the Hydro Majestic was renowned for when it was opened by retail doyenne Mark Foy in 1904.

“Foy held legendary parties at the Hydro. They were totally over the top and hedonistic. His `Palace in the wilderness’ was where everyone who wanted to have fun went – the famous and the infamous.

“We’re still partying.

“There will be no cigars or opium like there was in the 1920s, but there’s no prohibition in 2016 so our bars will be open and serving a range of exotic cocktails.’’

Elegant gangsters and flappers can relive the era of sumptuous architecture, saucy clothing, outrageous dancing and jazz music at the most famous hotel in Australia.

“Gangsters were most definitely criminals but the mob bosses weren’t ruffians. They always look snazzy – Al Capone was just as sophisticated as Rudolph Valentino,’’ Mr Bruegger said.

To look the part, gents could wear a three-piece suit (pinstriped if possible) accentuated by a contrasting tie (never a bow tie) and suspenders, with a dark overcoat, a fedora hat, black dress shoes with white spats, a pocket square, watch chain with a watch and a thin, straight moustache.

Flappers sported short sleek hair, shorter shapeless shift dress, a flat chest, dramatic makeup (often applied in public), exposed limbs and epitomising the spirit of a reckless rebel who danced the night away in the jazz age.

Accessorise with a long string of beads; a beaded skullcap, fascinator headpiece or scarf; long satin gloves; stockings rolled down just below the knee; and Mary Jane-style shoes. Hair was worn in a bob, a chignon; or waves or kiss-curls around the hairline.

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron leads the successful 2015 attempt

Hydro Charleston Challenge co-ordinator Angela Corkeron leads the successful 2015 attempt. Photo: David Hill

The popular festival will continue to swing at 11am on Saturday, February 6, when approximately 520 people attempt to reclaim the Guinness World Record for the largest number of costumed people dancing the Charleston at the Hydro Majestic Charleston Challenge.

That will be followed by the Majestic Long Lunch from 1pm to 5pm featuring regional food and wine, special guests, dancing and jazz music.

Guests can complete their immersive 1920s experience with Shanghai Nights of cocktails and canapes, lights, lanterns and jazz music to celebrate on the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year.

The Roaring 20s Festival will continue throughout February at other venues around the Blue Mountains.

Go to to book the Gangster Casino Night ($65 per person) and other Hydro Majestic Hotel events and register for the Hydro Charleston Challenge.

* Escarpment Group is a commercial client of Headline Publicity and Deep Hill Media

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