A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg
Prohibition Repeal Day returns to Santa Barbara this week (Friday, December 5) to celebrate the end of Prohibition in 1933, more than 80 years ago! This year the event coincides with the annual Downtown Holiday Parade on State Street, which sounds like a winning combination to me.
Joe Andrieu and Ted Mills, two Santa Barbarians who both love cocktails and Constitutional history, turned this unsung moment in history into a lively gathering of history buffs and cocktail aficionados.
Here’s the scoop from the organizers:
This year, on Friday, December 5, Repeal Day Santa Barbara hosts a multiple location celebration in downtown Santa Barbara from 5 p.m. to late in the evening. Revelers in vintage garb can expect to find fellow celebrants at all locations, all of which will be offering deals to those dressed to the nines. Hosts Andrieu and Mills will be touring all locations to raise a glass and honor the passing of the 21st amendment to the Constitution, ending 13 years of Prohibiiton.
Repeal Day Santa Barbara is organized as a self-guided tour, with maps provided at each of the featured bars: Milk & Honey (30 W. Anapamu St.), Finch & Fork (31. W. Carrillo St.), Pickle Room (126 E. Canon Perdido St.), Blue Agave (20 E. Cota St.), Roy (7 W. Carrillo St.), La Arcada Bistro (1112 State St.) and Wildcat Lounge (15 W. Ortega St.). Each bar will offer deals for those in vintage costume, specialty cocktails, and more. Hat shop Goorin Bros. (802 State St.), the event’s sponsor, also will provide an evening of fun.
Other events this evening include an Prohibition-themed Art Show, curated by Michael Long, at Roy; a Romantic Rock fashion show at Wildcat; special tastings of Amaro at Milk & Honey and Irish Whiskey at La Arcada,
A ticketed afterparty will also be held at the latter location at 10 p.m.
Mills and Andrieu designed the event so anyone can join in at any time with real-time updates and special deals through Twitter and Facebook, and at repealdaysb.com.
“Prohibition was a constitutional mistake that created thirteen years of widespread lawlessness,” explains Andrieu. “We celebrate the anniversary of its repeal to help us all remember both the errors and the corrections our country is capable of.” The two organizers believe that such an important event relating to our freedoms should be recognized and celebrated.
Nationwide prohibition began on January 16, 1920 with the 18th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which outlawed the manufacture, sale, transportation, import and export of intoxicating liquors. It lasted until its repeal with the ratification of the 21st amendment on December 5, 1933.
Santa Barbara played a special role during the dry years of Prohibition. Its long coastline and various inlets—plus numerous caves on the Channel Islands—made it one of the top areas on the West Coast for rum runners importing illegal spirits.
Tickets for all tastings and the after party are available online at repealdaysb.com.
When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”