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Getting Ready for Gatsby Summer Afternoon

Do you have to be an Art Deco Society California member to get in?

We welcome both members and non-members to attend Gatsby Summer Afternoon. However, only ADSC members are eligible to purchase Early Entry Passes. (Please note: this is different from prior years when anyone could purchase an EEP.) Members also receive discounted tickets to the event. Click here to find out more about being an ADSC member.  If you become inspired to join us during the event, there is a membership table on the hill near the wine tasting.


What is the deadline for advance ticket sales?

The last date for advance purchase of tickets is Saturday, September 8, up to 12pm. If the event has not sold out, tickets will be available at the gate for $80 each. Click here to purchase tickets in advance to ensure you get in.


How will I receive my tickets?

If  you purchased tickets via phone, you will receive physical tickets in the mail. If you purchased tickets via Eventbrite, you will receive them in an email from Eventbrite.


Can I buy tickets for each person in my party, even if we arrive separately?

Yes, if you want to purchase tickets for other people and have them picked up under their own names, you can purchase tickets online, then email the ADSC office with your name and the names the tickets should be held under. Alternatively, have your friends pick up their tickets under your name.


How do I get a table? What about just a chair and umbrella?

The invitation has information about renting a table, umbrella and chairs for a group of ten people. Or, you may wish to order individual seats at a group table. Table and umbrella sales end by September 8 or while supplies last.


If I purchase a table for 10, do I still have to pay for an individual ticket?

Yes, table charges and umbrella packs (extras) are in addition to the ticket price, and are needed to underwrite the rental and set-up costs. Everyone seated at a table needs to have a ticket.


How can I volunteer?

We would love your help! The Gatsby Summer Afternoon would not be possible without our many wonderful volunteers, and they are provided with complimentary admission. Please click here to find out how you can help!

Day of Gatsby Summer Afternoon

What do I do if I have purchased an Early Entry Pass?

(Please note: unlike prior years, EEPs are available to ADSC  members only.)

Please bring your Early Entry Pass ticket to Gatsby Summer Afternoon that you will receive in the mail. When you arrive at the Dunsmuir, STOP at the bottom of the hill on Peralta Oaks St. and show your Early-Entry pass and tickets for everyone in the car to the volunteers who will be waiting there. They will direct you to the queue that forms on Peralta Oaks St. for early entry. Please do not first drive up the hill to the gate. You will only be directed back downhill to join the queue. If you have event tickets to purchase or pick-up from Will Call, a volunteer will direct you. If you want to be one of the first in the queue, you’re free to arrive at any time after 10am on Peralta Oaks St.

At 11am early entry will begin. The car queue will be released in groups. The Dunsmuir staff will allow only FIVE early entry vehicles onto the grounds at a time. PLEASE KEEP YOUR VEHICLE ON THE PAVED ROAD AT ALL TIMES. Volunteers will direct you to drop off locations. Unload picnic items by the side of the road; do not attempt to drive to a site on the lawn. As each vehicle empties its contents and leaves the grounds, the Dunsmuir staff will notify the ADSC volunteers on Peralta Oaks, and they will signal another vehicle to drive up the hill to enter. Please have your pass and event tickets to show the gate attendants.

Once on the grounds, your vehicle must remain on the paved roads. Only vintage autos are permitted on the lawn. So if you are bringing heavy items, please consider the means to transport those from the drop-off to your picnic site. To ensure all early entrants have equal time to unload, we ask that you strive to unload your contents within 15 minutes. To expedite the process, volunteers will assist with unloading at the drop off site. You may want to leave a helper with your picnic stuff. Please make sure everyone has a ticket with them at all times.

SPEED LIMIT ON THE DUNSMUIR ESTATE: 5 MPH. Route is one way. No vehicles are allowed to exit the front gate.

After you have unloaded the contents, drive your vehicle to the parking lot in the extreme rear of the estate. No parking near the carriage or other work houses in route. The gate to the rear parking lot will be closed from 1:30pm to 6pm. At the end of the day, when you retrieve your picnic supplies, the vehicle must remain on paved roads and cannot be driven on the lawn. Volunteers will be present to facilitate the exodus.


Can I buy tickets at the gate?

If the event has not sold out, tickets will be available at the gate for $80 each.  Click here to purchase tickets in advance


Can I bring my dog?

Dogs are not allowed. Service dogs for those with disabilities are the only exceptions.


Is there a discount if I arrive late/leave early?

There are no discounts for early or late arrival.


Where do I park?

Parking in the lots near the estate can be limited, please check back for updates. If you can, please carpool and pick-up friends from BART. You may drop off passengers or picnic items at the circle before parking.  We will have a parking shuttle van available to transport guests (not their picnic items) to and from their parking spot to the front gate.


Is it safe to unload and leave my belongings at the front gate while I go park my car?

Yes, you can leave your things, park, and return.


What is the “back parking lot”?

The back parking lot is where vendors, volunteers, and those with an Early Entry Pass will be directed to park. Only FIVE new cars on the grounds at any one time. NO MODERN CARS ON THE LAWN. Park on the shoulder of the road on the asphalt. It is not “open” during the posted event hours from 1pm until 6pm so it is not used by the general public. Vendors are not allowed to enter through back lot and drive onto estate. You must vacate all lots by 7pm. Lots are private and we are only insured for the day. It does get dark earlier and it is a long walk through the "woods" to the back lot with no lighting so be prepared with comfortable shoes, a walking buddy, etc.


Is there a lot of walking involved to get to the event?

Yes, there is a good amount of walking from where you will need to park and to get to the picnic area. It is about a quarter mile from the gate to the main picnic area. We suggest having a change of comfortable walking shoes. For the ladies; high heels do sink into the grass so you may want to change into your precious vintage shoes once you reach the picnic area.  There is a shuttle provided during limited hours and does come with a queue so if you want to leave at a certain time you do need to be prepared for walking.


When do the shuttles run?

We will have golf carts, vintage autos, and motorized cable cars to help shuttle people into the grounds and back. They will run from 1pm until 2pm. There is no fee to ride.


What is the “Costume Closet”?

The Jay Gatsby Costume Closet is a treasure trove of wonderful vintage accessories and a few complete outfits. It is a special offering to anyone looking to complete their Gatsby-look or for anyone who didn’t know the attire of the day was meant to be vintage-style 1920’s-30’s garden party day wear. The Jay Gatsby Costume Closet is a labor of love provided by Jonathan Belmares, who purchases, repairs and stores the items. He is an independent volunteer and not backed by a store. There is a $5 suggested cash donation. The costumes need to be returned between 5:30-6:15pm. Your ID will be held until you return your borrowed items. If serious damage occurs to borrowed items a fee will be assessed based on the value of the item.  For minor damages or dirty items a fee will be assessed relative to costs of repair or dry cleaning.  Fees are under the total discretion of Mr. Belmares and you should discuss in advance the value of item you are borrowing so proper consideration is given. Some items may be available for purchase.


Should I be offended if someone suggests the Costume Closet to me even though I have tried to dress for the occasion?

Please do not take offense; “vintage” can be interpreted in many ways, and the Gatsby Summer Afternoon is more specific than most as a daytime elegant affair. Perhaps our volunteer stylists felt that the addition of something from our Jay Gatsby Costume Closet would help to make your outfit more compete as well as your enjoyment of our theme. Click here to find out more about dressing for the occasion.


Who do the vintage cars belong to?

The Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate is a working museum. The automobiles on display are privately owned by ADSC members and many are museum quality.  Please do not touch the vintage vehicles and when taking photos, please pose in front of the car—never on the car or in the car. Click here to find out how to show your car.


What is inside the mansion?

The mansions closets, kitchens, and bathrooms are filled with artifacts from the families who lived there. Thanks to a generous sponsor the house will be open to tour from 3pm until 4pm during the event. They do ask that there is no photography inside the mansion.


Where can I smoke?

There is no smoking on the grounds, and it is subject to a $600 fine.


Where is lost and found?

Lost and found will be located at the membership pavilion. Lost and found items will be taken by a board member if not claimed. You can contact ADSC post-event if you are looking for an item.


Where are the bathrooms?

There are bathrooms located just behind the mansion for the public on the hill. There is a handicap ramp that goes up the hill. Additional port-a-potties are located at the very far end of the great meadow. The bathrooms inside the mansion are not for public use; they are part of the mansion's display.


Are there any places I may NOT set up my picnic?

We ask that you set up your picnic in the large meadow or in front of the mansion (leaving room for the croquet area). Please don’t set up too close to the cars, as they need space to set up their own picnics. Please do not set up within 20 feet of the dance floor on all sides. This needs to stay open as a walkway for people to pass through as well as an area for people to stand and watch the entertainment. Blankets and picnic gear left too close to the dance floor will be moved out of the way by volunteers. To avoid blocking other guests' view, umbrellas and canopies should be set up further back from the stage, towards the tree line, or approximately 50 yards away from the stage.


Where do I pick-up my umbrella & chairs that I ordered in advance?

The umbrella packs will be located in a cluster on the meadow past the tables and labeled with the renter's name. You may move the umbrella and chairs to your desired picnic area but they are weighted umbrellas; and if you can kindly return them to original area after event.


No one seems to be sitting at a table, is it okay if I sit down for a little while?

No, we are sorry but those are not “open tables.” All tables are reserved in advance and belong to the people who have paid for them. There is no opportunity to purchase day of.


Is there anywhere else I can sit?

There are a few benches on the grounds, and you may sit on the steps of the mansion. We encourage and expect people to provide their own seating, either by reserving them in advance or bringing their own chairs or blankets and pillows.


Can anyone dance on the dance floor, or just pros, or paying people (like the table holders)?

The dance floor is for everyone! You are encouraged to dance. Please consider non-slip dance shoes. If you are not dancing please do not stand on the dance floor. Parents, please keep children in check and respect the dancers. The dance floor is for dancing and not a playground. We want to be sure it's safe for everyone!


Who can participate in the fashion/dance/picnic contests?

Anyone may enter the fashion and Charleston contests. There is no sign up or fee. Contest times are listed in the printed program.

The picnic prizes are awarded by our judges who view all the picnics on the grounds.


Is food available at the event?

Aside from wine, cocktails, and ice cream, there is no food or drink available on site.


Can we bring and consume alcohol publicly?

You may bring alcoholic beverages for your picnic and share them with anyone 21 years of age. Please drink responsibly and ensure you are sober before driving home. If you do need to consider a cab you must vacate all lots by 7pm. Lots are private and we are only insured for the day.


Can we bring glass bottles?

Plastic would not be period correct so you are encouraged to bring glass bottles. Please do dispose of them properly or carry them out. Be careful with corks and bottle caps as they can harm the Dunsmuir’s lawn mowers the following day.


Can we take photographs?

Yes, you may take photographs anywhere EXCEPT inside the mansion. If you post them on social media, please tag them as "Gatsby Summer Afternoon"!

After Gatsby Summer Afternoon

I parked in the front outside of the grounds. When the event is over can I just drive in the front entry to get my stuff?

At the conclusion of the event you may not drive in the front gate. This is now an exit. You need to carry out what you brought in or consider bringing a red wagon with wheels to help ease your journey to your car.


Will there be a Gatsby Summer Afternoon next year? Do you know the date?

The Gatsby Summer Afternoon is always at Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate and is always on the second Sunday in September. Next year will be Sunday, September 13, 2020.  We hope you will join us again!