Tap into the past April 19

Tiffin Historic Trust and Clover Club are teaming up to stage a Prohibition Repeal Party 2-5 p.m. April 19. This free event is for people of all ages. In addition to 1930s cocktails and snacks, there will be prizes and raffles. Pay no attention to the temperance protesters who may appear.

As part of the its mission to help Tiffin residents learn about, preserve and value the architectural history in Tiffin, the trust has begun a new effort to celebrate not only the physical structure, but also what that building has meant to local citizens, past and present. One way to do that is to celebrate local businesses which have meant so much to Tiffin and whose buildings have become landmarks within the community.

Clover Club is just such a place.

Although Prohibition was repealed in 1933 through the ratification of the 21st Amendment, Clover Club has been a fixture in the heart of Tiffin since 1936. Many Tiffinites who were thirsty for a good drink after those long, hard years of Prohibition rejoiced at the opening of a new watering hole where they could join their friends in good times, good food and good beer. Therefore, it just seemed natural to kick off the trust’s new program of celebrating Tiffin’s businesses there.

Dennis Stevenson, Clover Club manager, plans to offer a special menu featuring food popular during the period, as well as a selection of special Prohibition-era cocktails and beers. Guests are encouraged to dress in period costume (anything from flapper girl to zoot-suit dude), and a special live band from Detroit is to play favorites from the ’20s and ’30s.

The Creole Kitchen Jazz Band is to make music New Orleans style. The five-member ensemble features vocal and instrumental renditions of Bayou jazz classics like “The Tiger Rag” and “The St. Louis Blues,” Big Band-era hits such as “Sing, Sing, Sing” and “Moonlight Serenade,” as play blues, rockabilly, zydeco and original music. Traditional instruments, including trumpet, saxophone/clarinet, trombone, banjo/guitar, string bass/tuba and drums, give the music an authentic and unique sound.

A multi-instrumentalist, composer and educator, band leader Carl Cafagna holds a degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston. Cafagna can play saxophone, clarinet, flute, drums/percussion as well as sing, and has appeared with Mel Torme, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, the Temptations, Marcus Belgrave, Natalie Cole, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and the Grand Hotel Orchestra (Mackinac Island).

The band has made its home in Michigan for several years, and has performed at the Detroit Festival of the Arts, Fox Theater in Detroit, the East Lansing Arts Festival, the Lansing Old Town JazzFest, the Michigan Princess Steamboat and numerous clubs and restaurants.

So, pull out the pomade, dust off those dancing shoes and join the Tiffin Historic Trust and Clover Club to celebrate the repeal of the Volstead Act. Once again, enjoy an alcoholic beverage in public without fear of a raid. No secret password is required, and no G-man will be watching.