An Historic Eve
History was made Nov. 4 when Barack Obama won the presidency of the United States. It seemed the world collectively rejoiced – say what you will of the over-the-top adoration for the man, but people were itching to celebrate this historic moment.
The world finally got the chance on inauguration day whether they were there to attend the events in Washington or sitting at home glued to the news.
After watching the events in class, I decided to go on my own mini pub-crawl in celebration of Obama’s win. Through Facebook, I found three parties: Collectively Eclectic at Mile One, Obamarama at the Marquee Room and American beer specials at Milk Tiger Lounge.
In that order I started the night off at 10 p.m., joining the party at Mile One. Collectively Eclectic kicked off the party at 7 p.m. with CNN coverage of the night’s events.
Organizer Beni Johnson and his team brought together Calgary-based charity, the Africa Book Project, to raise funds while people celebrated.
“These guys, what they are is a small little team based out of here in Calgary and they have another team member who is based in Kenya,” explained Johnson. “What they do is gather resources, whether it’s books or money and they purchase books — textbooks and regular books — and send them to Kenya.”
Johnson decided to pair the Africa Book Charity with the inauguration party because of Obama’s family connection to Kenya.
“We thought it was kind of fitting that we throw a celebration and a fundraiser for Obama’s hometown,” said Johnson. “It’s a chance to give to charity that may not necessarily get a lot of light.”
Along with the silent auction and Obama T-shirts for sale, the night featured four spoken word artists reciting poetry on a range of topics from Michelle Obama and race relations to the use of derogatory terms.
With over 200 people attendance, the party seemed destined to continue for a few hours longer as I exited and made my way to the Marquee Room.
It was 11 p.m. when I got there and boy, did I miss the party. It made sense as doors opened at 7 p.m. Not normally open on Tuesdays, bar manager Patrick MacEachern estimated 40 to 50 people showed up to watch CNN coverage and drink blue-coloured drinks with pineapples (the yellow fruit was symbolic of Obama growing up in Hawaii).
The staff was kind enough to let me stay and drink while they closed up. I even gained a buddy as MacEachern joined me on the next stop at Milk Tiger Lounge.
The smallest venue on my mini pub-crawl, the place seemed busier with a few tables occupied and patrons at the bar. Unlike the previous two venues, there was no big screens set up to watch the endless CNN coverage on the inaugural balls that were happening at that hour. Thus the celebration of Obama’s inauguration was apparent in the conversations overheard at the bar. To encourage the dialogue American beer was on special for $5 and if so inclined you could also have $5 apple pie.
Needless to say, I drank one of their American beers, Brooklyn Pilsner — a flavourful beverage that was finished quickly in the company of an avid beer drinker. After that more drinks followed and I was quickly inebriated enough to forget some of the nights’ events. I woke up with a hangover so bad that I completely agreed with the Facebook wall post of my newfound friend: “I feel like Obama should have done something for my post-inaugural hangover.” Amen.