Inauguration Day Viewing Party

On Nov. 7, 2000, my friends and I—all having voted in our first presidential race—huddled around the TV to watch the returns for George W. Bush versus Al Gore. For a while, things were up in the air. Then someone said Florida would definitely go to Gore, and I, being an exhausted college sophomore, went to bed. The next morning I woke to world where the Sunshine State was back in play, leading to a fateful Supreme Court decision, two wars (still ongoing)…and so on, and so on. The bums narrowly retained the White House in ’04, so the ’08 election felt like the first time my vote would really, really count. This past fall, there was no going to bed on election night. Instead I stood arm-in-arm with a total stranger, watery eyes fixed on a jumbo screen, while Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech from Grant Park. This morning offers a similar chance to watch and celebrate the Inauguration Day festivities with like-minded viewers. Just cover your ears when Rick Warren gives the invocation. (Online RSVP recommended at www.brownpapertickets.) LAURA ONSTOT

Tue., Jan. 20, 9 a.m., 2009

 
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