The QUEEN MARY will once again be hosting the 9th Annual Art Deco Festival onboard the last true remaining Art Deco Ocean Liner over Labor Day Weekend, August 30th through September 2, 2013. It is a rare opportunity to become immersed in a time period other than our own, specifically the 1930’s which saw the heyday of the art form and the birth of the QUEEN MARY itself. This year the event is being billed as the largest Art Deco collection in the world.
The QUEEN MARY still never fails to impress visitors at 77 years of age. Photo by Shawn J. Dake © 2013
The QUEEN MARY and Art Deco Society of Los Angeles celebrate an art form that has influenced design in visual arts, furniture, fashion, architecture, and ocean liners for nearly a century. “We’re growing the festival,” says John Thomas, QUEEN MARY Historic Resources Advisor and President of the Los Angeles Art Deco Society. “We continue to restore, the QUEEN MARY, perhaps the best living monument to Art Deco, and every year our festival draws more people because of its authenticity.” With more than 8,000 people expected to attend various Queen Mary events over the Labor Day Weekend, this year’s festival should prove to be the largest in its history.
A section of the Observation Bar, one of several rooms recently restored to their original Art Deco appearance. Photo by Shawn J. Dake. © 2013.
Much of the interior decor of the QUEEN MARY epitomizes an art movement at its zenith. “Art Deco defines a visual expression, mindset, and lifestyle of an era,” Thomas says. “What better place to stage an Art Deco event. There are prime examples around every corner,” denotes Thomas. “We appeal to a broad spectrum of enthusiasts, students, tourists, curiosity seekers, and philanthropists. We’re preserving an art form, while conserving the QUEEN MARY,” says Thomas. One hundred percent of the Art Deco Grand Ball proceeds fund on-going QUEEN MARY conservation initiatives.
Carved wood relief from the First Class Dining Room depicting the GREAT EASTERN, MAURETANIA, QUEEN MARY and BRITANNIA. Photo by Shawn J. Dake. © 2010
In addition to the Art Deco Grand Ball events include the themed Pajama Derby, the always sold out Sunday Tea Dance and first-ever recreation of the famed Starlight Lounge. The atmosphere is enhanced with tastes, sights and sounds of the era from the vintage libations, velvety tunes and a smokin’ hot dance floor. For those looking to “Deco”rate, the Vintage Bazaar and Auto Display attract vendors as far away as the United Kingdom. Many sellers and collectors return year after year to showcase their unique merchandise and collectables to the highly coveted clientele.
Throughout the weekend, the Art Deco Lecture Series will dive into topics ranging from architecture and automotive to musicology. For the night owls and vintage film buffs the Movie and Martinis Under the Stars celebrate Hollywood’s Golden Age with one of the QUEEN MARY’s regular passengers, Bob Hope as he graces the silver screen in “The Big Broadcast of 1939”. A la carte tickets are available starting at $15 to suit the interest of every festival goer. Art Deco aficionados can take advantage of The Art Deco Grand Passport or Hotel Package offering a total weekend immersion starting at $295. The Hotel QUEEN MARY boasts 314 original staterooms including nine full suites. As it has been for well over 40 years, the QUEEN MARY is located in the Port Of Long Beach, California at 1126 Queens Highway at the ocean end of the Long Beach, 710 freeway. Art Deco Festival events will be held throughout the ship. Currently the QUEEN MARY features 80,000 square feet of event and meeting spaces in 17 Art Deco salons as well as the tri-level, 45,000 square foot Exhibit Hall housed in what once was the forward engine room. For more information or for reservations visit www.queenmary.com or in the U.S. call (800) 427-2934. The Art Deco Festival is a fun way to step back in time while exploring the rich heritage of the QUEEN MARY and the era that created her.
Exquisite Art Deco details found in a door. Photo by Shawn J. Dake. © 2009.
Shawn J. Dake, freelance travel writer and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters, worked in tourism and cruise industry for over 35 years. A native of Southern California, his first job was as a tour guide aboard the Queen Mary. A frequent lecturer on ship-related topics he has appeared on TV programs. Owner of Oceans Away Cruises & Travel agency, he served as President of the local Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America. With a love of the sea, he is a veteran of 115 cruises.
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