So Many Parties, So Little Time – Local Inaugural Happenings

by on January 16, 2009 · 4 comments

in Election, Media, San Diego

Bummed out that you can’t afford to go to Washington DC for the inauguration on Tuesday? Did the Obama campaign office forget to email your tickets? Fear not, dear readers, for there are gaggles of opportunities right here in San Diego to get your change face on.

First of all, it’s important to note that the actual inauguration ceremony (9am our time) is happening in the morning/early afternoon in Washington, which means it’s gonna be kinda early here. If you do opt to get up early for one of these events, take comfort in the fact that you won’t be freezing your tush off like those folks in DC. Of course, there will be parties well into the evening throughout the San Diego area, so you don’t need to feel too jealous about missing the maddening crowds in our nation’s capitol.

If tree hugging is your thing, then by all means get up early and head for UCSD. You’ll be able to hear the Stuart Collection’s “Trees” exhibit at the University of California, San Diego broadcasting the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, beginning at 8 am to get your change groove thing on.

The exhibit consists of three salvaged eucalyptus trees from a grove razed to make way for new campus buildings. The “Music Tree” and the “Poems and Stories Tree” will play a live radio broadcast featuring the inaugural program – including the swearing-in ceremony and inaugural address – at a higher than usual volume. Signs placed on the hills and paths will alert students to listen to the historic inauguration at one of the university’s most renowned landmarks.

The Whistle Stop Bar in South Park is featuring the earliest opportunity to drink in the change, starting at 8:30 am, with a no-host Bloody Mary (& more) bar, breakfast nibbles and music to watch the inauguration by. Donations will be collected for the San Diego Chapter of the International Rescue League. Info:

The UltraStar movie theaters will be open at 6:30 am, featuring ABC News coverage of the events in DC. Seating is on a first come, first served basis and will be limited to one screen. If there is an overflow, there will be a waiting line for seats as they become available. The concession stand will be open, with a special Obama combo consisting of a large soda and large popcorn with free refills during the entire event. For reservations, send an email to Be sure to include your name, the number in your party and which theatre you’d like to attend. Reservations are mandatory, so print out the response and bring it to the theater. Nothing says change like a big ol’ tub of hot buttered popcorn washed down with high fructose corn syrup flavored bubbly water at seven in the morning.

Encinitas environmental artist, Kirkos, will create a meditation labyrinth design in the sand at Stone Steps Beach in honor of the day starting at noon. The public can watch Kirkos create the ephemeral sand design, and then walk through the channels of the labyrinth. This event will take place at the Stone Steps Beach, Encinitas. Parking will likely be very limited.

If you haven’t already made plans to take inauguration day off, you should consider doing so, as there are some serious parties planned for Tuesday evening. And take Wednesday off while your at it. That should add up to a FIVE DAY weekend, and that’s the kinda change we’re talkin’ about here. Don’t worry, the Republicans in your office will show up to work…what’s the worst that could happen? (OMG!!!)

For those of you seeking a more formal and (perhaps) dignified event, The Rotary Club of Southeast San Diego in collaboration with the National Council for Negro Women (San Diego chapter), NAACP-San Diego and North County Branches, Black American Political Association of California, Multi-Cultural Convention Services Network (MCCSN), ULSDC Young Professionals/Guild/Career College Club Network (C3N) and the Urban League of San Diego County will host an Inaugural Gala Celebration to mark the historic triumph of President-Elect Barack Obama.

The black-tie (optional) event will take place from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm at the new Joe & Vi Jacobs Center located at 404 Euclid Avenue in Market Creek Plaza. Guests will enjoy a buffet, dancing, entertainment, broadcasts from Washington, DC and remarks by some of the nation’s most prominent leaders. The Gala will commemorate the accomplishments of African Americans leading up to this historic moment, a moment that many people did not think they would see in their lifetime. Tickets are $55.00/person

Another black-tie event–with a little more flair, perhaps–will be the Change Artist Inaugural Ball at the On Broadway Event Center. Hosted by Def Comedy Jams’ Joe Torry, and featuring musical and comedy performances by Tommy Davidson, Aida Rodriguez, Brett Riley, a special performance by R&B singer Tank, as well as DJ sets from DJ D Rock, DJ Yusef, and DJ Matty A, the Ball invites guests to Celebrate the new Obama era with MTV celebrity personalities from “The Hills,” “The City,” “The OC,” “Laguna Beach” including Lauren Conrad, Audrina, Brody Jener, Dean Cain, Zack Levy, James Kyson lee, Roger Cross, Eddie Cibrian, Vivica Fox and many more. Tickets are $25 in advance. Info:

Getting a little more down to earth, The Pearl Hotel on Point Loma is hosting an bash with starting at 7pm. They’ll have a big screen TV, $10 tacorita combos and all the style you can handle. RSVP @

Another event will be happening at The San Diego Wine & Culinary Institute starting at 5pm. Be a part of history while also enjoying locally produced fine wines at The San Diego Wine & Culinary Center! They have graciously agreed to provide appetizers, starting at 5pm, so come early–straight from work–before they run out! RSVP:

The event that’s most likely to be a mob scene is being hosted by the San Diego County Young Democrats at the “W” Hotel starting at 7:30 pm. These young geniuses were concerned that their party would be overlooked and underbooked, so they’re offering “free drinks” for the first hour. And, guess what? They’re already overbooked. RSVP:

The other big deal event downtown will be the Inaugural Ball: West Coast Style (Change is Coming) produced by the Henley Company at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel starting at 6pm. This black-tie optional event will include live entertainment, video footage from the Inauguration, heavy hors d’ouvres, complimentary cocktail, and raffle prizes. To purchase tickets ($50):

The City Heights Performance Annex will cap off the day’s activities from 7:00 to 10:00 pm with an evening inaugural ball with the taped ceremony, food, and live blues and salsa music. For this event, please RSVP to the Performance Annex at 619-641-6103.

There will be dozens of other smaller events hosted at private homes and smaller restaurants throughout the region, sponsored by Visit their website for more information.

And if you just can’t get out on Tuesday evening…..

Activist San Diego urges you to come out to “Celebrate the End of an Error” at the Balboa Park Club on Saturday, January 24th starting at 7pm. Featured will be live Latin music by Aqua Dulce. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Info: .

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Patty Jones January 17, 2009 at 11:45 am

Great list Doug! Should be something for everyone here!


avatar Arthur James Constant O'Malley January 17, 2009 at 5:02 pm

For sure I will be at ASD’s counter inaugural ball. For the past several years the organization has hosted an excellent party at the ball room in Balboa Park. The last time they had a party, the food was great, there was a keg of local brew, wine, and an excellent band with danceable music. I will be waiting for big changes once the new administration steps in inside the Beltway, but I’m not holding my breath; I’m going to ASD’s counter inaugural ball. Be certain that you will have a blast.


avatar OB Joe January 18, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Anyone know whether ASD has allowances for reduced entry fees for the unemployed?


avatar anonarchist January 23, 2009 at 9:49 am

so many parties, so little interest. this is simply a coronation of the empire’s new magician who will make everything all right again, so the corporations can continue their profit making.


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