1. Two words: Blind Tiger
To go along with the party’s Prohibition-era vibe, organizers tapped into the idea of a forbidden bar theme this year. Turns out, Lidgett says, there used to be a bootleg bar in Des Moines called the Blind Tiger.
“We had the idea of playing on Des Moines’ past,” Lidgett said. “Bars used to say there was a bearded lady or a blind tiger in town, which was code for a place to drink.”
Gatsby Gala guests can enjoy Blind Tiger cocktails, mixed with Iowa’s most famous Prohibition-era whiskey: Templeton Rye.
2. Food, glorious food
As you’re sipping your signature cocktail, you’ll feast on exotic foods that go along with the mysterious Blind Tiger theme. This year’s menu includes red curry chicken satay (dubbed Tiger Tails) with lime, jalapeno and cilantro risotto, and pepper-crusted beef filet with Maytag blue whipped potatoes. Hungry yet?
3. Christopher the Conquered and the exclusive after-party
$20 gets you into the after-party, which features a private concert by local songwriter Christopher the Conquered in the Salisbury House’s Indian Room. Guests will descend down a hidden passageway to enter the room and experience the show up close and personal.
4. Dress up and have fun
“I think it is one of the most fun costume parties of the year. It’s a really glamorous event and people enjoy going with the ’20s theme,” Lidgett said.
Expect to see a lot of flapper girls, but also interesting costumes like 1920s baseball players, she said.
“It’s great to see how people dress up, and with the house and atmosphere, it takes it to another level. You really do feel that because of the house, you’re taken back to this other era.”
5. Two fundraisers, one weekend
This year, the Salisbury House’s two largest fundraisers — the annual car show (Concours d’Elegance) and the Gatsby Gala — are paired together on the same weekend. A few cars from the Concours d’Elegance will be on loan for Gatsby Gala guests to admire.
“The events are from the same era. ... And the vintage cars transform the house,” Lidgett said.
When: 7-10 p.m. Friday
Where: Salisbury House and Gardens, 4025 Tonawanda Drive
Tickets: $160, but $95 for young professionals ages 21-34 through salisburyhouse.org. After-party tickets are $20.
Info: 274-1777, salisburyhouse.org