Celebrate the freedom to celebrate

By - Dec 5th, 2008 02:52 pm
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Today is Repeal Day! From repealday.org: “Conveniently located halfway between Thanksgiving and Christmas — at a time when most Americans are probably not spending time with family — Repeal Day presents a wonderful occasion to get together with friends and pay tribute to our constitutional rights. [And] unlike St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo, Repeal Day is a day that all Americans have a part in observing, because it’s written in our Constitution. No other holiday celebrates the laws that guarantee our rights.”

Wisconsin’s convivial culture has come under scrutiny in recent months; the Journal Sentinel‘s Wasted in Wisconsin series, which is more about the human toll of drunken driving than it is about the state’s “drinking culture” as the blog purports, was highlighted in a recent New York Times feature about Wisconsin’s lenient drinking laws and out-of-control (in some eyes) binge drinking. And right here in Milwaukee, people in Wauwatosa are apparently dismayed, shocked and alarmed that boutique and gallery owners have the gall to serve a glass or two of wine at their establishments, and their complaints have led to a crackdown.

It’s a frightening time to be a bon vivant, but lovers of the good life can at least rejoice today that, for 75 gloriously uninterrupted years, alcohol has been constitutionally permitted.

I’ll probably be celebrating with a bloody mary, which also celebrated the big 7-5 this week. The Iron Horse throws a big repeal party at their bar Branded that features a ceremonial tapping of a keg of Lakefront beer at 7 pm and shuttles to and from Great Lakes Distillery, the first distillery to open in the state since 1933. Support picked-on wine-serving local galleries tonight at The Armoury as they open Milwaukee’s Own, a show featuring local artists Harvey Opgenorth, kathryn e. martin, Colin T. Dickson and Mary DiBiasio.

Or, you know, drink anywhere. Milwaukee still boasts the greatest number of bars and taverns per capita. Buy a friend, or a stranger, a shot. I’ll tip one back for my dapper grandfather, who was arrested in Detroit for running sugar to speakeasies.

Categories: VITAL

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