Speakeasy Bash
A Time Travelers Speakeasy Bash will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at the National Watch & Clock Museum, 514 Poplar St., Columbia. (Submitted)

On a weekend when Yorkers will be turning their clocks ahead one hour, The National Watch and Clock Museum will be turning back time - all the way back to the 1920s - for a Time Travelers Speakeasy Bash.

The evening will feature a 10-piece roaring '20s jazz orchestra - accessible only after providing the "super-secret" password - for guests to shimmy, swing and step with their best Charleston, Balboa and Lindy Hop.

Daylight-saving time: "We are excited to go back in time this night and celebrate a period in time that is unique in American history as we mark the beginning of Daylight Saving Time - which is something we have to observe here at a place that is all about time," Education Director Katie Knaub said in a recent press release.

Kim Craven, events coordinator for the museum, said the organization has held special events in conjunction with daylight saving time in the past, but this is the first year for a dance related to the decades.

"It's a unique time," Craven said. "Everyone's thinking about 'springing ahead' and we just thought let's travel though time and go back to something fun."

The museum, recognized as the largest and most comprehensive horological collection in North America, opened in the 1970s with fewer than 1,000 items. Today, Craven said, it is a repository for more than 13,000 time-keeping pieces.

"We don't just have a kitchen-stove clock when we spring ahead this weekend," she said. "We have a multitude of clocks, so it's a really unique day for us."

Craven said she hopes the event, like others the museum has offered as part of its special events series, is not only fun-filled for guests, but exposes them to an interest in time-keeping. The museum is operated by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the art and science of horology. Craven said like all associations, they're always looking for a way to reach out to younger members.

"It's something fun," she said. "We hope they see that we're not just a museum filled with a bunch of old time pieces."

Craven said the museum was dedicated to making the event a time travel experience, transporting guests to the 1920s. She said from the moment they arrive they will be greeted by vestiges of the era, like a Ford Model T. After stepping through the darkened halls of the museum, guests will find the jazz orchestra staged in the marble rotunda.

Craven said period cocktails, like the French 75, will be served up at a cash bar, as well as an array of hors d'oeuvres. In addition to dancing, silent movies will be projected in the theater for guests who wish to take a break and soak in the decade. Guests will also be able to step through the "real time tunnel," Craven said, and go even further back in time while touring the museum and seeing the ancient time pieces.

Guests are highly-encouraged to dress in period attire, Craven said.

"We want everyone to don their flappers and their fedoras, and just come with a great spirit of travelling back in time," she said. Ticket sales are going well, but Craven said she anticipates tickets will still be available at the door. "I hope everyone joins us in 'Puttin' on the Ritz,'" Craven said.

--Reach Amy Peiffer at apeiffer@yorkdispatch.com.

Time travel

The Time Travelers Speakeasy Bash will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at the National Watch & Clock Museum, 514 Poplar St., Columbia.

Tickets: $20 per person; $30 per couple. Information: 717-684-8261.