Each spring, Excelsior Springs travels back in time to its golden age, the Roaring ’20s. Gatsby Days is a celebration that explores the culture and history of the early 20th century with live music, original poetry, art, vintage cars and fashions. The annual festival is named for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel “The Great Gatsby,” a famous story of the Gilded Age of the 1920s.
Preview our 2018 schedule below for an idea of the sort of events included in Gatsby Days! An * indicates a ticketed event. Tickets are on sale via the links below and will available be at the Hall of Waters soon.
Thursday, May 10 – Jazz at The Elms* – 7:30 p.m.
The Gatsby Days kickoff event features the Excelsior Springs High School Jazz Band PLUS a special set from an adult jazz group that includes Band Directors, Mr. Morris and Mr. Jones! If you like to dance to jazz, bring your dancing shoes as there will be a small dance area. This is a joint fundraiser between the Cultural Guild and the school bands. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. HALF of the proceeds will go to the school band program. ($1 PayPal fee per ticket)
Friday, May 11 – Broadway Stroll – 7 p.m. – FREE
Dress in your Gatsby Days best and join us for a stroll around the Art Tour at downtown stores, beginning at the pocket park on Broadway.
Friday, May 11 – Gin & Jazz: A Great Gatsby Affair* – 8 p.m.
Hosted by the Downtown Excelsior Springs Partnership and the Excelsior Springs Chamber of Commerce, the party will include live music, a cash bar with craft cocktails, gambling games, photo booth and more fun at the Hall of Waters! Tickets will be on sale soon. Click the link above for details.
Saturday, May 12 – Storytelling, 10:30 a.m.
The storytelling presentation at is FREE and open to the public at the Paradise Playhouse. Join in to listen or bring your best stories to tell. We will have a few homegrown storytellers that we think are very talented, but we hope you will bring us your best story and entertain us. This event will last an hour or until all the stories have been told. There will be a goodwill donation collected. **Interested in participating? See the contacts below!
Saturday, May 12 – 1920s ‘County Fair’ Fashion Show* – 2 p.m.
Dresses and gentlemen’s attire will be modeled during the fashion show: A Day Remembered at the County Fair 1923. Fashions will be originals or reproductions of styles from the 1920s. Meet your friends and family at the Paradise Event Center (formerly Paradise Playhouse)at 2 p.m. for a fun time with simple pleasures and reminiscences of days gone by. Locals will entertain you and tell you about the 1920s Clay County Fair. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students ($1 PayPal fee per ticket). This is the perfect event to bring Mom to since it’s on Mother’s Day weekend! **Interested in being one of the fashion show models? See the contacts below!
Saturday, May 12 – Vaudeville Revue* 7 p.m.
Paradise Event Center (formerly Paradise Playhouse) in downtown Excelsior Springs. The Vaudeville Revue will feature the talented adults and youth from our area. In true Vaudeville fashion, singers, dancers and other acts will perform their family-friendly talents all in the style and period of the 1920s. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students ($1 PayPal fee per ticket). **Interested in being in the show? See the contacts below!
May 12-13 – FREE Youth Art Show, The Oaks
Art from area schools will be on display from 1-4 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Awards will be presented at 3:30 Sunday. Refreshments will be served Sunday by the residents of The Oaks Apartments.
**If you would like to participate in the Fashion Show, Storytelling or Vaudeville Revue, contact Denise at 816-679-4443, Tisha at 816-656-1340 or Marilyn at 816-630-6801. Please note all funds raised are for scholarships for area students of the arts.
2017 photos. See more on our Facebook page.