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Gatsby Days

May 2-5, 2019

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.

 An * indicates a ticketed event.

Al Capone at The Elms* Thursday, May 2, and Saturday, May 4

Take a tour of the historic Elms Hotel led by “Al Capone.” Thursday, 6 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 adults; $5 students plus $1/ticket PayPal fee. Meet in the lobby at The Elms 10 minutes prior to your tour departure time.

Choose date & time

18446732_1534095906652403_5471521307302848498_nJazz at The Elms* Thursday, May 2, 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. HALF of the proceeds go to the school band program. Tickets are $10 adults; $5 students plus $1/ticket PayPal fee.

Jazz at The Elms Tickets

Window Decorating Contest & Music, Friday & Saturday

Ragtime and jazz music will be playing in downtown Excelsior Springs Friday and Saturday. Visit the merchants in downtown Excelsior Springs during Gatsby Days to see their decorated windows. They’re participating in a contest. Windows will be judged by May 1 and announced during Gatsby Days.

Vintage Movies at Main Spring, Friday & Saturday

FREE vintage movies at Main Spring Arts Gallery & Studios at the corner of Main and Spring.
Friday – Chicago, 6 p.m.
Saturday – Charlie Chaplin, noon; Laurel & Hardy episodes, 2 p.m.; Great Gatsby, 7 p.m.


Community Participation Parade, Friday, May 3, 6 p.m.

People and pets are welcome to dress up or decorate their bikes for this FREE event! Meet at Spring & Main Street corner to start parade on the circle west of Hall of Waters at 6:00 pm. Awards given for Best Costume (Pet), Best Costume (Person) and Best Decorated Bike. To sign up by May 1, call Marilyn at 816.630.6801.

Copy of Classic Car Show Flyer - Made with PosterMyWallCar Show, Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Autos Through the Decades” will be in the circle drive west of the Hall of Waters and down Spring Street from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. Judging is at 11 a.m. Entrance is on the corner of Main and Broadway downtown. 1st and 2nd Place trophy for each category of show cars. Interested in bringing your car? Download  preregistration form. $20 entry in advance; $25 day of show. No fee if you don’t want your car judged.

Storytelling, Saturday, May 4, 10:30 a.m.

The storytelling presentation is FREE and open to the public at Main Spring Arts Gallery & Studios, 110 S. Main Street, Excelsior Springs (across from circle at Hall of Waters). 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. Contact Denise Siegel, 816-679-4443, for details or to participate.

gatsby 6Fashions Through the Ages* Saturday, May 4, 2:00 p.m.

Dresses and gentlemen’s attire will be modeled during the fashion show at The Montgomery, 425 S. Thompson, Excelsior Springs. Fashions are originals or reproductions of styles from the 1920s.  Tea and light refreshments will be served. Tickets are $10 adults; $5 students plus $1/ticket PayPal fee.

Fashion Show Tickets


Vaudeville Revue (A 1920s Variety show)* Saturday, May 4, 7:00 p.m.

Held at The Montgomery in downtown Excelsior Springs. The Vaudeville Revue features the talented adults and youth from our area. In true Vaudeville fashion, singers, dancers and other acts performed their family-friendly talents all in the style and period of the 1920s. Tickets are $10 adults; $5 students plus $1/ticket PayPal fee. Interested in being in the show? Contact Marilyn at 816-630-6801.

Vaudeville Tickets

Youth Art Show, Saturday-Sunday afternoons

Art from area schools will be on display to the public for FREE from 12-4 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Awards are presented at 3:00 Sunday. Refreshments will be served Sunday by the residents of The Oaks Apartments.


Dance at The Elms, Sunday, 4 p.m.

Dance teacher will be available for lessons and demonstrations. Light snacks served. Tickets are $10 adults; $5 students plus $1/ticket PayPal fee.


**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.

See photos from previous years on our Facebook page