Have vintage fun in the virtual sun at Galveston Island Beach Revue 2020

Photo courtesy of Galveston Historical Foundation

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the original Galveston Island Beach Revue with a special free virtual event featuring classic cars, cocktails, concerts, a vintage bathing beauties contest, and more on Saturday, August 1, 2020 from 2pm to 4pm.

The annual vintage party blowout thrown by Galveston Historical Foundation (GHF) goes virtual this year with a special mid-summer celebration.

Originally debuting as Galveston’s Bathing Beauties Contest in the summer of 1920, the popular event recurred each year through 1932, when it ended due to the Great Depression.

It marked the kick-off for tourist season each year, and was resurrected in 2009 as a vintage celebration of vintage 1920s and ’30s seaside American style and culture.

Now the Galveston Island Beach Revue is traditionally held as an in-person festival that welcomes thousands each year at the start of each summer. But, due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in Texas, this year’s edition was delayed and then restaged as a jam-packed virtual celebration.

Galveston Island Beach Revue in 2019 | Photo courtesy of Galveston Historical Foundation

Galveston Island Beach Revue 2020 Event Line-up

  • Building the Perfect Cocktail with Daiquiri Time Out  Join Brad Stringer, owner of Daiquiri Time Out Galveston, behind the bar to get a look at the Mary Pickford, a special Beach Revue cocktail. The drink is be available for order and pickup through Daiquiri Time Out.
  • Seawall Slideshow with Galveston Historical Foundation – Explore images of the 1920s Galveston Island Beach Revue, newly-acquired by GHF. Historian Jami Durham will share the photos, stories, and history of the event.
  • Vintage Clothing & Style with Dandy Wellington  Known for his features in The New York TimesVogue, and other fashion chronicles, Wellington will share his appreciation for the swinging big bands, elegant parties, and beautifully tailored clothing of the 1920s and ’30s. He’ll also select a “Best Vintage Dressed” award from the online audience. Tag yourself in your vintage best at #beachrevue for a chance to win a coveted Beach Revue sash.
  • Performances from Matt Tolentino & Gin Minksy – Matt Tolentino is one of the leading performers dedicated to the music of the 1910s, ’20s, and ’30s. He brings the music of yesterday to the audience of today, presented with respect and reverence. Gin Minsky has been known as NYC’s premiere tap and burlesque performer, event producer, and go-to gal for all things Jazz Age, blending skill, creativity, technique, and charm..
  • Classic Auto Group Virtual Vintage Car Show – Hot rods, rat rods, vintage trailers, and more are lining up to take part in the Galveston Island Beach 2020 car show. This online parade of cars will feature owner submitted shots of their entered vehicles with no models featured built before 1975.
  • The World-Famous Bathing Beauties Contest – Always a crowd favorite, the main event is the Bathing Beauties Contest, where retro swimwear is chic, and vintage is king. Contestants will model vintage and vintage-inspired swimwear and accessories that echo the “good ol’ days” of Galveston’s summertime history, vying for cash prizes and top honors.

Click here for more program details.

The World-Famous Bathing Beauties Contest in 2019 | Photo courtesy of Galveston Historical Foundation

History of the Galveston Island Beach Revue

Dubbed the “Pageant of Pulchritude” by C.E. Barfield, Galveston’s Bathing Beauties Contest began in the summer of 1920 and marked the kick-off for tourist season each year. Although traditionally held as an in-person festival that welcomes thousands annually, this year’s move to an online presence doesn’t hold back on the special events that have made it so well received. 

By 1928, the event, which had morphed into the “bathing girl revue” had become so popular, the Island’s population was said to have tripled during the event weekend. These Island pageants were the beginning of what we know today as the Miss Universe Pageant.

The famed Galveston Bathing Beauties pageants ended in 1932 due in part to the Great Depression and were resurrected in 2009. Today’s event welcomes thousands of spectators to Galveston Island for a weekend of vintage entertainment.

Classic Cars at Galveston Island Beach Revue | Photo courtesy of Galveston Historical Foundation

About Galveston Historical Foundation

Formed in 1954 from the merger of Galveston Historical Society with a new organization, Galveston Historical Foundation has since served as a non-profit entity devoted to historic preservation and history in Galveston County.

Over the last 60 years, Galveston Historical Foundation has expanded its mission to encompass community redevelopment, historic preservation advocacy, maritime preservation, coastal resiliency and stewardship of historic properties.

Click here to learn more about Galveston Historical Foundation and its mission.

Galveston Island Beach Revue 2020: Virtual Edition

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