I currently work in the event industry, and have been involved with putting on events for nearly a decade. I am also an avid event-goer who seeks out any excuse to buy a new outfit and down a cocktail with friends in a social setting. Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to attend the annual Repeal Day Party at the Don Vicente de Ybor Historic Inn and was blown away. The party is thrown by the Left Coast Bartenders’ Guild, an organization of bar professionals and enthusiasts whose primary goal is “to build a better cocktail culture for the Greater Tampa Bay Area.” Eff the frickin’ weekend Rihanna, I cheers to that!
On paper, the Repeal Day Party is a celebration of the passage of the Twenty-First Constitutional Amendment that ended the Probition Era. The event became a time machine that transported guests to the late 1920’s decade. Every single hotel suite of the Don Vicente transformed into a theatrically-themed bar offering shaken and muddled cocktails from a particular region. There was a London bar, a New Orleans bar, a New York bar, a very fun Miami bar, a Mexico-themed bar. Specific detail was paid to each and every suite and bar from the decor, music and nosh to the way the staff in each area was dressed and costumed. There were burlesque and cabaret performances, video screens showing film from the Prohibition Era and a wall-to-wall crowd of patrons dressed and outfitted from that time period. It was evident to anyone in attendance that a lot of love and labour went into putting on such a grand event, and the Left Coast Bartenders’ Guild should feel very proud for bringing such a spectacular event to the area.
The Repeal Day Party definitely ranks as one of the Top 3 events in the Tampa Bay Area, and needs to be on everyone’s Must-Attend List in 2013. My only suggestion to anyone attending next year: be prepared by requesting the next day off from work.