Celebrate Repeal Day This Saturday

This Saturday, Dec. 5, marks the 76th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition, and it’s being celebrated all day long by the DC Craft Bartenders Guild.

First, start the day off with author and Nightclub & Bar contributing writer Garrett Peck as he leads a Temperance Tour of Prohibition-related sites in Washington, D.C. Peck intends to “regale you with stories of long ago (well, 76 years ago) as if they happened just yesterday, and you’ll get to see some really unusual sites that even most Washingtonians don’t visit.” The free three-hour walking tour starts at 12 p.m. at the Cogswell Temperance Fountain at the Archives/Navy Memorial Metro Station; for more information, visit www.prohibitionhangover.com/temptour.html.

That evening, the DC Craft Bartenders Guild celebrates the 76th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition at its Second Annual Repeal Day Ball Dec. 5. The black tie ball will be held at PS 7’s restaurant across from Calvary Baptist Church, the first national convention site of the Anti-Saloon League, which launched the legislative agenda for Prohibition.

Special guests Dale DeGroff, Tad Carducci and Jeffrey Morgenthaler will augment cocktail creations from local favorites Gina Chersevani, Derek Brown and Todd Thrasher. Tickets can be purchased here. A portion of the final proceeds will benefit the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans.

While the 75th anniversary of Repeal last year caused quite a stir, we’d all do well to shake things up this year with events, cocktails and other creative ways of drawing attention to our Constitutional right to imbibe. Given the current thirst for alcohol tax dollars and the drive to put ignition interlocks into our cars, we might want to educate ourselves and then shed some light on why Prohibition is known as the Failed Experiment for our patrons.

Those seeking a little background on Prohibition and Repeal should hit up www.repealday.org, Jeffrey Morganthaler’s informative site. Or, to dig a little deeper, read Garrett Peck’s new book, The Prohibition Hangover: Alcohol in America from Demon Rum to Cult Cabernet (Rutgers University Press, September 2009).

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