My friend and fellow blogger Nicole, aka New Girl in Toronto invited me to the Gatsby Garden Party. In previous years this was a one day event, but due to increasing popularity, this year's event was held over two days, Saturday June 25th and Sunday June 26th. We attended on the second day.
Most people are familiar with, or have at least heard of The Great Gatsby, considered to be American author F. Scott Fitzgerald's best novel. Perhaps you've seen one of the many film or theatre adaptations, the most recent film one is from 2013, directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The novel is tale of America in the Roaring Twenties: wealth, excess, Jazz music, flappers, bootlegging.
Spadina Museum is one of 10 Toronto historic sites and is described as Toronto's Downton Abbey, Toronto's only museum that represents the 1920's and 1930's. The house is over 100 years old and is situated on six acres that includes an orchard and incredible gardens. The last living resident of the house transferred the house, furnishings and remaining acreage to the City of Toronto and the province of Ontario in 1978. In 2010, the house was restored to the 1920's. Nicole had been inside the house before so we had grounds only tickets. I will certainly be making a trip back to the museum to get a tour of the inside. It was easy to forget that I was in Toronto while wandering the grounds. It really was like being transported to a different time.
There was no shortage of amazing costumes and the costume contest was one of the highlights of the event. It was funny to see so many people decked out in authentic 1920's vintage finery, but using smart phones and sporting what I jokingly called not "period appropriate" modern accessories like facial piercings, unconventional hair colour and visible tattoos.
In addition to the costume contest, there was swing dance instruction, live music, croquet and a mugshot station. I learned that even though I've seen lots of movies and have seen many pictures of mugshots, I don't know how to pose for a mugshot. Nicole joked that I had obviously never been in trouble with the law before. I replied that I've just never been caught ;) The mugshots should be posted to the museum's Facebook page this week. If I look sufficiently criminal and glamorous, I'll share mine on Instagram or Twitter.
If you like history, costumes and parties, this event is definitely worth attending. This year's event sold out fairly quickly, so be sure to check the museum's website in the spring of 2017 to find out when tickets go on sale.
All photos by Glodeane Brown