Great Gatsby Festival takes Tallac Historic Site on Tahoe’s South Shore |

Great Gatsby Festival takes Tallac Historic Site on Tahoe’s South Shore

The Great Gatsby Festival returns to the Tallac Historic Site for its 32nd year on Saturday, Aug. 13, and Sunday, Aug. 14.
Courtesy / Tahoe Heritage Foundation |

Go back to the 1920s with this weekend’s Great Gatsby Festival, held at the Tallac Historic Site on Saturday, Aug. 13, and Sunday, Aug. 14. The two-day event is celebrating its 32nd year, providing a weekend filled with vintage car shows and 20s-based games and activities. Locals and visitors alike will populate the Pope and Baldwin Estates, where most of the weekend happenings are held.

“It’s a really big tradition,” Tahoe Heritage Foundation director of operations Mikan Gosuico said.

Guided tours, historical talks, a silent auction and a 1920s band are all part of the festival, and with Sunday comes the Gatsby Tea and Fashion Show, an event held from 2-4 p.m. at the Valhalla Estate. This year’s fashion show theme is “Lakeside Sports and Leisure,” which puts outfits from the 1920s-40s on display. There will be tea sandwiches, sweets and 1920s high tea and bootleg champagne.

“The lawn will have kids’ games from the 20s like pie-eating contests and sack races. There are different things going on all day both days,” Tallac Historic Site intern Ellie Hinkle said.

During the festival, Hinkle will be in the Pope Estate portraying an Irish maid. The estate tours during the two-day event will be slightly shorter and more interactive than those normally done throughout the season.

“It’s more of a living history experience,” Gosuico added.

All volunteers will be in costume for the event and many attendees will dress up as well, according to both Hinkle and Gosuico. Tallac Historic Site volunteer Mary Gibson has been designing costumes for over 30 years, and will fit over 50 others in 1920s-style clothing for the event. Her goal is to make the volunteers’ outfits look as authentic as possible.

“The maids all wear the same thing, and all cooks will wear something different,” Gibson explained. “I want to give the flavor of the 20s everywhere.”

Additional experiences included in the two-day event are a speakeasy held at the Valhalla Twin Cabins, a blacksmith shop, clothing and food vendors and more. 2016 Great Gatsby Festival posters will be on sale, as will posters from previous years.

“The old ones usually go for $50, but we sell them for $25,” Hinkle said.

The Great Gatsby Festival is held Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking at the Tallac Historic Site is free, but limited. The event is a partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and the Tahoe Heritage Foundation, and all work is done by volunteers.

All money raised from the event — a fundraiser for Tahoe Heritage Foundation — goes to restoration, interpretation and education of the Tallac Historic Site. The festival is the heritage foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year.

Festival admission is free, with the exception of the tea and fashion show. Tickets for the Sunday afternoon event are $65 per ticket and $520 for a table of eight.

More information is available at

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