Party on Inauguration Day

Your guide to daytime and evening fun on Jan. 20

Jan 14, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Given CityBeat’s readership demographics, we’re betting that most of you are happy that George W. Bush is leaving the White House on Tuesday after eight years that have been alternately scary, depressing and angering. A good portion of our readers are probably even happier that Dubya is being replaced by Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, a man who seems intelligent, capable of multi-tasking and even kinda cute. In short, Bush’s opposite number.

So it’s time to celebrate! Get in on the Obamaction by attending any of the myriad parties going on around the Queen City on Inauguration Day. Start the festivities off right with a viewing party and carry the patriotic fun on into the night by stopping by some local bars.

Here are just some of your options on Tuesday (in chronological order):

Morning of Jan. 20

Cincinnati Museum Center: Hosts a free viewing party in the Union Terminal rotunda starting at 10 a.m. Witness history in a historic place. This community inauguration celebration comes complete with a big screen TV and great acoustics. 513-287-7000.

Cincinnati Art Museum: The Fath Auditorium turns into a viewing area for the live broadcast of Obama's inauguration starting at 11:30 a.m. 513-639-2967.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center: Head over to the Harriet Tubman Theater at 10 a.m. to watch a live broadcast of the Obama inauguration. As a member of the audience, you’ll have a chance to express your thoughts about the new president and the election. Admission is free, but seating is limited to 300. 513-333-7500.

Facebook: Like you aren’t on it during the day at work anyway. This social networking site, in partnership with CNN, wants you to “update your status, and follow you friends' updates, while you watch the inauguration live online, all on” The video feed starts at 8 a.m., covering the swearing in ceremony at noon and the following inaugural address. Oh, technology. Oh, micro-blogging. “CityBeat is excited about being able to update their status while watching the Obama inauguration! Woot!”

Evening of Jan. 20

C&D Bar: The lovely Northside “dive bar” hosts the “Bye-Bye Bush Bash” starting at 6 p.m. This hidden neighborhood gem will feature clever specialty drinks (Obama Mama, anyone?), dancing and a few surprises, like music by DJ Puck Dunaway. If you go, be sure to say “hi” to Talmadge, the bar’s friendly owner. He'll probably dance with you. 1714 Hanfield St., Northside, 513-541-9881.

Northside Tavern: The Tavern is throwing “The Blue Ball,” sponsored by Cincy Rocks Obama. The 8 p.m. event includes a dance party with DJ Apryl Reign and free food provided by Melt and The Hideaway. There’s no cover charge, but donations of non-perishable food items are suggested for the Freestore Foodbank. 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside, 513-542-3603.

Sitwell’s Coffehouse: You want something more laid back? Sitwell’s is hosting a “Bamabash” at 8 p.m., with Hawaiian bamatinis (virgin or alcoholic). It’s darkly lit and they have free WiFi. 324 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, 513-281-7487.


Bush Bash ’09: If you don’t feel like going anywhere or you just have an itch to be domestic, throw your own Bush Bash. Get it? Bash Bush? The idea is that individuals or groups will organize their own parties and then upload photos from the events onto Flickr. If you don’t know how to plan a party, here are some helpful tips: Find other Obama inauguration parties and crash them, get a group of friends together and head down to a local bar (if you talk to them ahead of time they might even “host” it and throw in some drink specials) or create an event on MySpace or Facebook and let the good times roll. Head over to to get involved with this giant party planning effort and to get details on how to tag your photos to become part of the huge photo album.