Things to Do

Night and Day: Obama Inauguration parties in Denver

This morning's Martin Luther King Day march took to the streets with an historic edge: Denver celebrated one African American who helped make it possible for another to become president all these years later. The elated nation that elected Obama Commander-in-Chief will be bumping the clouds tomorrow, from coast to coast, and hey, it would be almost un-American not to join in the celebration.

Not all of us can squeeze into the public festivities while freezing our buns off in D.C., but there are plenty of ways for Denverites to show their solidarity tomorrow, beginning with several real-time swearing-in viewing parties: Boulder's Present Tense: Films and Discussion will be hosting Inauguration Day Simulcasts on the big screen beginning at 10 a.m. at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street, with ceremony replays and simulcasts of primetime ball activities continuing at a 7 p.m. evening party. Morning viewing is free and all-ages; admission at night is a $10 donation for Emergency Family Assistance; reservations are recommended. Go to the Present Tense website for details, or call the Boulder Theater, 303-786-7030. Also in Boulder, for those who prefer a more laid-back view of the presidential goings-on, the West End Tavern, 926 Pearl Street invites the public to an Inauguration Pajama Party with the ceremonies on a continuous loop beginning at 11:30 a.m. on the rooftop; surf the Tavern's site or call 303-444-3535. Viewing comfort is the main attraction at the Cinema Grill, 13682 E. Alameda Avenue, where you can check out Barack Obama Live on the Big Screen with free inaugural viewing, with food and drink for sale, begins at 9 a.m. Admission is first-come, first served, call 303-344-3456. Gay constituents with a yen to party will start early at the Compound, 145 Broadway, where the Colorado Stonewall Democrats congregate at 9 a.m. to watch the Inaugural Ceremony and Parade and regroup later at 7:30 p.m. to party into the night while following D.C. revels on TV screens. Events are free, but it's wise to visit Stonewall's ticket reservation site online. And for more information about morning viewing at the Shadow Theatre, as well as details about tonight's NW Community Inaugural Party at the Oriental Theater, see Westword's Night & Day Calendar Pick item.

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But after the sun sets, parties across the Front Range will really light up the night, beginning with what might be the most official one: Dress up or dress down for the Colorado Democratic Party Obama Inauguration Party, a "blue jeans to ball gowns" hoedown among the local liberal politerati from 6 to 10 p.m. at the ritzy Westin Hotel-Tabor Center, 1672 Lawrence Street. Tix are $50; find out how to get them at the party website. Metro Volunteers hope to convince folks to take up the volunteer banner and sign on to continue giving back to the community at the "Be the Change" Inaugural Bash, 4 p.m. to midnight at the Church, 1160 Lincoln Street. Admission is a $10 cover charge; go to the Metro Volunteers website for all the haps.

Fun for urban hipsters runs the gamut, from cupcakes, cereal, coffee and tea at the Barack Obama Inauguration Bash @ The Shoppe, 8 p.m. at 3103 E. Colfax Avenue (call 303-322-3969 or learn more by logging on to the Shoppe), to downright hard drinking at the Barack Ball at Rockbar Inaugural Celebration, which officially begins in the morning with ceremony viewing on HD TVs and "recession-friendly" drink specials all day long, but rocks on into the night, when DJ Soup and Wesley Wayne keep things lively after 9 p.m. RockBar is at 3015 E. Colfax Avenue; call 303-322-4444. Other bar celebrations include the hi-dive's party that tells it like it is: The Farewell to Bush Bash, with live music by the Swayback, Drop City, the Knew and Missing DuFrenes, beginning at 8 p.m. at 7 S. Broadway (call 720-570-4500 or visit the hi-dive in cyberspace) and, just down the street, an Obama's In The House! Inaugural Celebration with DJs Uplifter, Mu$a and Segue, 9 p.m. at Senger's On the Fax, 3014 E. Colfax Avenue (call 303-355-0823 or go to the website). More hippie than hipster? Put on your glitziest thrift-store chic gown and head to the Mercury Cafe Inaugural Ball and dance all night in Obama's honor, starting at 8 p.m. at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street. Call 303-294-9281 or 303-294-9258.

Gays and lesbians can gather ´round the TV screens for a GLBT Inauguration Party with taped Inaugural reruns hosted by Babes Around Denver, Hip Chicks Out and DJ Tatiana at Hamburger Mary's, 700 E. 17th Avenue; admission is a $5 donation to the Task Force. For details go to the B.A.D. site. And PC Boulderites will be purple in the face at the Boulder Grassroots Coalition's Grassroots Inaugural Ball at the Glenn Miller Ballroom, UMC, CU-Boulder campus, with live music, dancing, coverage of Inaugural Balls in D.C., and a live link to the Presidential Ball, as well as live music by the Delta Sonics, Gretchen Troop Band, and George Whitesell and His All-Stars with Jill Watkins. Purple (red crossed with blue: get it?) and creative formal attire are encouraged, and proceeds from the $50 ticket tag will benefit Emergency Family Assistance Association, Community Food Share and the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. To reserve tickets use event code: BCG at Blacktie-Colorado.

And finally, you'll be high on life at the top of the town for the Hotel VQ's 2009 Obama Inauguration Party¸ 14 stories above Denver in the hotel's famed roof-top venue, adjacent to Invesco Field at 1975 Mile High Stadium Road. An Obama All American Feast, with DJ dancing, drink specials, souvenirs, prizes and more, begins at 4 p.m.; for information on party and room packages, email [email protected]

Celebrate! For more details on these and other inaugural events in town go to Community Events at

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd