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How to party like Gatsby at the F. Scott Fitzgerald celebration

It's a not-to-be-missed event for any Fitzgerald fan – and it's in St. Paul.
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Scholars and literature-lovers from all over the globe are in St. Paul this week to celebrate the city's most beloved novelist.

The F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference is a weeklong celebration of one of the greats in American literature – F. Scott Fitzgerald, aka the author of The Great Gatsby, This Side of Paradise, and other stories that chronicle the Jazz Age.

The conference is held in the U.S. or Europe every two years, at a place that's significant to F. Scott and his wife, Zelda.

This is the first time in 14 years that the conference is revisiting a city (it was in St. Paul in 2002). Which is fitting, considering Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul in 1896 and spent a good portion of his life there.

What's going on at the conference

The conference runs from June 25 through July 1 at Hotel 340 on Cedar Street in St. Paul. It's too late to register online, but walk-ins are accepted in the hotel's lobby.

It features academic stuff like lectures and discussions from scholars from Japan, Italy, Macedonia, Sweden and elsewhere. But there's also "Fitzfest" – a bunch of social events around the Twin Cities and beyond.

A singalong, a pool party, and more

Monday kicks off the social schedule with a 1920s singalong at the hotel, featuring Twin Cities pianist Dan Chouinard. That event is free, just bring cash for the bar.

On Tuesday you can turn back time in White Bear Lake, which was F. Scott and Zelda's home in 1922. There'll be live music plus cookies and lemonade at Boatworks Commons from 4-5:30 p.m. – the event falls on the town's Manitou Days. Guests are encouraged to dress in vintage garb, and old cars are welcome too.

There are a couple different tours throughout the week at Fitzgerald-related spots, but the most popular event is sure to be the "pool party at Gatsby's mansion," which will take over The University Club in St. Paul. That was one of Fitzgerald's favorite hangout spots, and the site of the infamous “Bad Luck Ball.” Reggae band Irie Sol will be playing the event.

And if you want just a taste of the conference, dress up like a 1920s flapper and enjoy period cocktails at "Gatsby Night" at the St. Paul Saints game on Saturday.

It's $205 for the full conference, or $165 for the "social" package, which includes two academic panels, one free lunch, the closing banquet, and a tour of Cathedral Hill.

But if you just want to go to a specific event, you can do that too – some require advance registration or entrance fees. Here's the full schedule and ticket info.

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