You can step back in time at a Roaring ’20s party in Ipswich

Don't forget your dancing shoes.

The Roaring Twenties Lawn Party at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate.
Guests at last year's Roaring Twenties Lawn Party at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate. –Erica Mattison

Get your Gatsby garb ready.

Castle Hill on the Crane Estate is once again hosting the Roaring Twenties Lawn Party, taking place Aug. 4 and 5. Last year, the ’20s-themed party drew 3,400 people, said Mike Hibarger, vice president of Boston Swing Central, which puts on the event along with the Trustees of Reservations.

Hibarger estimated that about 90 percent of event guests dress in period clothing, donning beaded dresses, suspenders, caps, and bow ties.

Some bring their own picnic foods and blankets, while others preorder food from Ferreira Foods and pick up items such as cheese plates, quinoa and caprese salads, chilled roasted salmon, and black pepper encrusted tenderloin sandwiches upon arrival.


Guests can also buy items from food trucks and food tents set up on the grounds. This year, attendees will be able to munch on lobster rolls, clams, roast beef, hot dogs, and chicken from Kelly’s Roast Beef Catering, Cuban food from Empanada Dada, popcorn, candy, and nuts from Q’s Nuts, and pizza and ice cream from White Farms Homemade Ice Cream. While bringing alcoholic drinks is not permitted, guests can order beverages from Ipswich Ale Brewery, Mill River Winery, and Far from the Tree Cider in an area called the Bootlegger’s Garden.

Bands will again perform throughout the weekend on two different stages, and dance lessons and dance contests will be set to music from the era.

“You can kind of forget about the troubles of today and enjoy some beautiful, amazing, exciting music,” Hibarger said. “You can dance if you want to, you can just enjoy the view, or you can enjoy the people watching and just have a picnic.”

This year, for the first time, there also will be roving musicians, Hibarger said.

“We have a roving band each day and they’re going to play in the gardens, which are beautiful spaces,” he said. “The music just kind of brings the spaces alive and makes them more vibrant.”

Roaring Twenties Lawn Party
A Roaring Twenties Lawn Party at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate. —Erica Mattison

Guests can tour the 1920s mansion between 2 and 7 p.m. Outside, they can play lawn games, shop vintage vendors, and check out vintage cars on display (and take some for a spin). They’ll be able learn about the hats of the era during “Meet the Hat Maker” with Daryl Begin, a craftsman from Rhode Island, and visit a pop-up museum on Egyptology organized by Boston University’s Archaeology Department.

“In the ’20s, they were obsessed with Egyptology,” Hibarger said.

Also new this year: luxury loos. That is, in addition to the portable toilets of years past, guests will find two trailers with six to eight flushing toilets and running water for handwashing.

Tickets to the event cost $55 per day, or $44 per day for students, seniors, and Trustees members. Tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be sold at the door.

“People just have so much fun,” Hibarger said. “It’s just great people watching. That’s the thing I love most about it, just seeing the amount of effort people put into their outfits and into their picnic spreads.”

Roaring Twenties Lawn Party on Aug. 4 and 5 starting at 1 p.m. (full schedule here), rain or shine; 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich;