“Say, Old Sport, the honor would be
entirely mine if you would attend a “little party” I’m having at my house
tonight. I’ve seen you …several
times and have intended to call on you long before now, but a peculiar
combination of circumstances has prevented it.” ~Jay Gatsby
The Buffalo & Erie County Library
System, lead sponsor of the community’s 2009 “Big Read” celebration of F. Scott
Fitzgerald’s masterpiece The Great Gatsby, will kick off the
month-and-a-half long series of more than 150 events with a fundraiser: “A Gatsby Rendezvous,” on Saturday,
September 26th. The 1920s retro
party of the year will be held at the Gatsby Mansion (i.e., the Central Library
at 1 Lafayette Square in downtown Buffalo) beginning at 7:30PM. A pre-party champagne tasting for some
of Gatsby’s closest friends begins at 6:30.
“This is a valley of ashes…but above
the gray land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you
perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T.J.Eckleburg …”
Our guests to Gatsby’s great party,
encouraged to dress in 1920s period clothing, will enter
his mansion through the Valley of Ashes, and they must pass under the
watchful eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg, suspended from the ceiling of the
“On buffet tables, garnished with
glistening hors d’oeuvres, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin
designs and … turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar … was set up, and stocked with gins
and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests
were too young to know one from another…”
Once you have passed through the Valley
of Ashes, you will arrive at the bar (previously known as the Library’s Fables
Café). A grand buffet table laid
out with all sorts of delicacies will greet hungry guests, and a tub of “bootleg
liquor” (the evening’s signature drinks) will accent the bar.
“A corps of caterers came down with
several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas
tree of Gatsby’s enormous Garden… the lights grow brighter as the earth lurches
away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and
the opera of voices pitches a key higher…”
With a drink in hand, you will enter
the main event… a lavish party in Gatsby’s Gardens. The large foyer and display area of the Library will be
transformed with many artificial trees covered in thousands of twinkle lights. A 16-piece ensemble from the fabulous
Colored Musicians Club will play the “hot jazz” of the ’20s through the night,
for dancing and your enjoyment.
A main attraction will be Gatsby’s dock
with Daisy’s green light in the distance.
A photographer will be available to photograph party patrons standing at
the end of the dock, and they will be able to take their old-fashioned
photographs home at the end of the night. Tours of the Mansion will be available and you’ll have the
opportunity to bid on some of the beautiful items contained within. Quotes from The Great Gatsby will
punctuate the ambiance. And of course,
our guests will get to rub shoulders with Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, Nick Carraway,
Jordan Baker, and Tom Buchanan, as actors portraying these characters will also
be in attendance.
TICKETS: $50 per person at
brownpapertickets.com, 1-800-838-3006, or the Downtown Library Store.
Pre-party Extra: $25 more gets you into
the Exclusive Champagne Tasting, 6:30PM.