NORTH EAST — Flapper dresses, cloche hats and Oxford shoes are in vogue for the Friends of the Library’s Great Gatsby Gala this October.
Using the phrase “Old sport” all night is optional.
Tickets for the gala, Oct. 19 at the North East River Yacht Club, went on sale earlier this month for $75 per person. The gala is part of the annual Love the Library Lollapalooza fundraiser, which helps fund Cecil County Public Library programs like summer reading.
This is the second gala the Friends have held. The first was held last year and was a wine and chocolate tasting at the Chesapeake Bay Golf Club.
With the event in its second year, Amanda Butler, chair of the Lollapalooza, said she’s hoping to double the number of attendees.
“We’d really like local people to come out and support the library,” Butler said. She called the library an “integral part of the community.”
The bottom line of the event is to raise funds, but also to raise awareness about library programming and encourage library patrons to join the Friends, Butler added. There are 50,000 library card holders in the county and the Friends have 250 members.
The gala may not be as glamorous as the famous parties in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” but Butler said there will be signature cocktails, delicious food, live music, blackjack tables and a live auction.
The event will be catered by the North East River Yacht Club. The menu includes a prime rib carving station, smoked salmon, tea sandwiches, braised lamb over polenta, stuffed mushrooms and petit fours for dessert. There will be a full cash bar.
The theme was set last year after the Friends decided they wanted to do something with a literary theme for their event. When Baz Luhrmann released his version of “The Great Gatsby” in movie theaters this spring it made the theme more timely.
“We just thought the ‘20s were such a fantastic era,” Butler said. She said people are encouraged to come to the event wearing clothes that evoke the 1920s, like a feather boa and long strings of pearls. She said she heard some people already bought costumes.
Throughout the night, guests will be treated to displays and performances to capture the spirit of the 1920s. Actors will be present portraying characters Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan and Nick Carraway and Jazz Age songstress Josephine Baker. There will also be a Charleston dance demonstration that guests can participate in, a vintage car on display for photos and an auction led by Jay Gatsby himself.
At the cards tables, guests can indulge in blackjack to raise funds for the library. At the end of the night, the top winners will receive prizes.