Tears of joy and sorrow will wash the faces of many an American come Tuesday night when the polls close and the results of the 2008 presidential election determine the future direction of the country. Given the longtime voting record and political reputation of Madison and Dane County, there's no doubt that the dominant hope around the city will be for an Obama victory. No matter what the outcome is, plenty of folks plan to experience it together.
There are numerous Election Day festivities in and around Madison on Tuesday, from official end-of-campaign events held by political parties to gatherings that offer a chance to watch the returns come in on the big screen. Information about a few of these events follows.
"Rock the Vote" at The Brink
Technically a pre-election party, this hip-hop extravaganza at The Brink Lounge on Monday night will last well into the wee hours of Tuesday morning in an effort to help GOTV come daylight. "This year more than ever it is important to register to vote and get out," declares the Speakerboxx DJz crew. Their own DJ Fusion will be joined on stage at the East Washington club by a tremendous cast of performers representing much of the best of Madison hip-hop, including L.O.S.T. S.O.U.L.S, Dumate, Rob Dz, OX, Ghetto Fab, Mr. Grass, Ill Nemesis, Tone, Rickaby, and The Last Hope. Doors open at 9 p.m., with showtime at 10 p.m.; the cover is $5 before midnight, and $10 come Tuesday morning.
MADemocracy at Alchemy
An outgrowth of the Madison East High School student club bearing the same name, MADemocracy is a new community organization in town focused on "inspiring typically disenfrachised populations to get involved in the political process." As part of this mission, the group is hosting a watch party at Alchemy on the east side that runs from 5:30 p.m. until midnight. This gathering will feature comments by former Madison school board member Juan Jose Lopez and former alder Isadore Knox, as well as tunes spun by a DJ. The party has a suggested donation of $5, but nobody will be turned away.
Watch Party! at the Majestic Theatre
Stadium seating and a super big screen at the Majestic Theatre make for a grand old setting to watch history unfold. The King Street music venue offers five reasons to watch the election returns there: "1. Everyone's doing it, 2. We have a movie screen, 3. We have nice bartenders and servers, 4. You spend enough time watching TV at home, 5. You can mingle with other political masterminds." Partying will commence at 7 p.m., and as there's no cover, consider some of the club's election-themed eat-and-drink specials, including "Obama Bombs," "Fillibusters," "DC Iced Teas" and pizza-by-the-slice from The Roman Candle.
Election Night Trivia at Café Montmartre
Looking to engage in a little competition of your own, and not just watch the outcome of the presidential battle on TV? Test your knowledge of political trivia and election ephemera with "Election Night Face Off," a special edition of the "Smarter Than You Are" pub quiz at Café Montmartre. Teams will take one another one for prizes at the nightspot just off Capitol Square, and for those looking to multi-task, the results will indeed be projected through the night. This free fun starts at 7 p.m., with the soundtrack provided by DJ Vote.
Dane County GOP Watching Party at City Center West
It's looking like it might be a long night at City Center West, located on the far side of the Beltline on 525 Junction Road. That's where the Republican Party of Dane County will be holding its Election Night party, complete with hors d'oeuves, beverages, and cash bar. The drinking starts at 7:30 p.m.
The Daily Page Election Night Party with Rock Star Gomeroke at the High Noon
Share your Election Night exuberance on stage at the High Noon Saloon for a special edition of Rock Star Gomeroke with The Daily Page. As detailed in our party announcement: "Madison's Favorite Cover Band, The Gomers, will invite patrons to join them on stage for Gomeroke all night and election results will be projected on the big screen. Bloggers and members of TDP's Forum are encouraged to bring their laptops and use the Saloon's wireless internet access to keep tabs on events from the balcony, where we'll send area politicos and other celebrities we've invited, provided they don't get in line to sing with the Gomers. Were you really planning on spending election night at home on the couch? Everybody dreams of becoming a rock star... well now's your chance!" Lake Louie Brewing is sponsoring the festivities, which have a cover of $5 and kick off at 8 p.m.
Fiesta in Der Rathskeller
The Wisconsin Union Directorate Society and Politics Committee is putting on an Election Night Fiesta at Der Rathskeller in Memorial Union. "Come relax and watch the results come in on the night of the election with discussion tables and reflections on a historical election," urges the student group, regardless of the outcome." The talk gets started at 9 p.m.
Digibot, Swill!, and The John Ashcroft Fan Club at The Frequency
Hard rock rabble rousing will make for a loud night at The Frequency, where Digibot will mark "the lying, the cheating, the hornswoggling, the moneygrubbing, the outright and downlow disregard for humanity, the invasion of privacy, the trampling of Constitutional rights, the death of innocence and innocents, the collapse of the economy and the American Dream" of the last eight years with one last malediction for the Bush Administration. Joining the party after several years of hiatus are the power trio Swill! and that tribute to criminal injustice known as The John Ashcroft Fan Club. There's already plenty of nefarious chatter about the party, which costs a cool $5 and gets rolling at 9 p.m.
Dems Election Night Celebration at Monona Terrace
Governor Jim Doyle and Representative Tammy Baldwin lead a long list of Democratic politicos who will be celebrating and watching election returns on the big screen at a party in Monona Terrace. Other local elected officials making an appearance include Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, State Senator Mark Miller, and State Representative Mark Pocan, along with Wisconsin Dems Chair Joe Wineke. Music will be provided by Mama Digdown's Brass Band, and libations will start flowing at 9 p.m. Barring any major surprises, Wisconsin looks like it will be remaining blue this year, and pending the election's outcome in the other 49 states, it should make for a festive atmosphere among the Dane Dems celebrating at the Terrace.
The hottest ticket in the land on Election Night will be for the official Obama campaign celebration at Grant Park in downtown Chicago. Should the Democratic candidate win the presidency, this will be the site of the acceptance speech, not to mention a frenzied scene of jubilation by throngs of his supporters. More information about this historic event, predicted by Mayor Daley to attract as many as one million people, is detailed in a FAQ published by the Chicago Tribune. This gathering, along with all the parties in Madison and throughout the nation, is making for what's sure to be the political night of a lifetime.