Events

The Roaring Twenties Lawn Party on Ipswich’s Crane Estate Is Back This August

Ready to party like it’s 1928? The Trustees and Boston Swing Central are bringing you back in time this summer.


Photo by Jamie Ducharme

Dig up your pinstripe suits and drop-waist dresses—The Roaring Twenties Lawn Party, the jazzy collaboration between Boston Swing Central and The Trustees, is swinging back around this August 3 and 4.

The ’20s-themed bash spreads across Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, a Trustees site that is famously home to a 59-room Stuart-style manse, completed in 1928. In honor of the residence’s heyday, thousands of Gatsby-era costumed party-goers will flock to the estate, equipped with elaborate picnics and dancing shoes.

“Some people go all out and their picnic spreads look like Better Homes and Gardens circa 1927,” says Mike Hibarger of Boston Swing Central, who estimates that some 3,400 flocked to the two-day event last year.

After a self-packed supper on the lawn—or one purchased from a selection of on-site food and beverage vendors—attendees have an abundance of festivities to enjoy. They can grab a partner and partake in a swing dancing lesson, challenge a friend to a round of giant chess and other lawn games, hunt for treasures among vintage vendors, take a photo inside of an antique automobile, and roam around the verdant grounds.

Make sure to Charleston over to the dance floor, where four bands will provide live music on two stages. Saturday’s headliner will be Brooklyn-based Tamar Korn and her Kornucopia, while Sunday will bring Baby Soda Jazz Band out from New York.

Though the event activities are similar from Saturday to Sunday, the latter day only will welcome a vintage Egyptologist, who will give a presentation and host a Q&A.

For those willing to dish out a little extra dough, there are two new events taking place at this year’s Lawn Party. The first is an afternoon tea in the property’s Italian Garden, where you can raise your pinky for some biscuits and black tea. There are limited seats for each day, so make sure to buy these tickets before July 22—they’re $86 for Trustees members and $95 for nonmembers.

The second newcomer carries a slightly steeper price tag: For a cool $3,960, you can treat your favorite friends to the Crane VIP Experience. According to the party’s website, the extravagant experience entails “luxurious treatment like the Crane family offered family and friends at their summer manor. [It] includes Lawn Party admission for up to 12 people, exclusive use of a private tent for the afternoon, picnic suppers, drink service, use of the mansion bathrooms, and a private tour of the mansion all the way up to the roof.” Ready to party like it’s 1928? Call for tickets now, as there are only two of these special bookings available per weekend day.

Unlike some of Gatsby’s infamous blowouts, the Roaring Twenties Lawn Party is enthusiastically family-friendly, and children 10 or younger are welcome to join the fun for free.

In need some inspiration? Take a look at some photos from a past year’s fete.

Tickets start at $36 for standard tickets for members and go up to $95 for the Afternoon Tea Package for nonmembers. The event will take place Saturday, August 4 and Sunday, August 5, at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich. Gates will open at 1 p.m. and festivities will last until 8 p.m. For more information, see roaringtwentieslawnparty.org.