Election Night Viewing Parties: Something for Everyone

By Steve Safran 

presidential-1311753_1280A cursory examination of my inbox followed by an even more cursory examination of a Google search has identified a curious phenomenon for this year’s Election Night: A whole ton of viewing parties in public places. (As if you needed more proof this has become a sport.) Famously, the New York Times is charging $250 a head so you can hobnob (which is what one does with people at the New York Times) with staffers Tuesday night. Sadly, it is sold out.

But fear not, there are lots of places you can go if you want to drink, argue with strangers, do the Time Warp and throw toast at Wolf Blitzer. (Do I have that right?)

Here’s a sampling:


The Raleigh Times is holding “Beer and Banjos” on Election Night. We support all of the former and some of the latter. We certainly support an evening in Raleigh.

Pittsburgh’s Parkway Theater Film Lounge will host a free viewing party on its big screen. It has come up with custom drinks for the occasion. Enjoy an Open Border Margarita, Trump’s Wall, Clinton Kool-Aid, a Rigged Cocktail or a Yuge, Big League Trumptini.

D.C., not surprisingly, has a lot of watch parties. The Washington Post has a comprehensive list. One standout: Red Derby on 14th St, NW. (Which REALLY needs a new website.) Writes the Post:

Blank electoral maps set on every table can be colored in as states are declared, and “election minigames” will reward attendees for guessing, for example, what time Ohio will be called, or how many House seats are won by Republicans in Virginia.

AMC Theaters are holding free CNN viewing parties for Stubbs (loyalty card) members at their facilities in 25 markets around the country. However, in the interest of safety and minimizing popcorn fights, they have separate “blue” and “red” screenings. Here in the Boston area, for example, the red party is in suburban Framingham while the blue party is in Somerville which is downtown. (Democrats won both places soundly in 2012.)

Seattle’s Central Cinema is presenting election coverage in “Hecklevision.” Your “wise-ass texts” will be projected on to the screen along with the program. They’ll also offer election night bingo. The craziness begins at 5:30 p.m. PT.

President Obama is holding an Election Night event in Chicago at Grant Park. One small problem: You can’t go. Invitation only. But take heart, Chicago. You just had the seventh largest gathering of all time to #FlyTheW.

Politics and comedy go together like, well, politics and comedy. It’s a great match. And Detroit‘s Go Comedy! Improv Theater is offering a night of improv and live music as the results come in.

Eventbrite lists a whole bunch of election watching parties in Florida – a state that may play a little bit of a role in deciding who will win the presidency. One standout: The Mighty Bipartisan Election Night Party. You have to be nice to each other, or your $2 taco will be repossessed “from out of you.” So, be cool.

Combine the duel discomforts of a first date with talking politics with strangers at the Atlanta Singles Social Networking Election Night gathering at Hudson Grille in Sandy Springs. Or join always-nice Minnesotans for some bowling as The Theater of Public Policy takes over Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis starting at 7 p.m. It will feel good to roll a giant, heavy thing at some pins.

Of course, this is a small sampling. Check out your local listings – Eventbrite is a good resource, as is Facebook Groups. If you’d prefer to throw your own election watch party, here are some ideas.

Finally, in case you were wondering, the candidates will both be holding their events in New York City. Hillary Clinton will be at the Jacob K. Javits Center  on Manhattan’s West Side. The massive convention center has, as many have pointed out, a glass ceiling – symbolism that’s about as on the nose as it can get regardless of the outcome. Donald Trump’s party will be at the New York Hilton Midtown — not one of Trump’s own properties.

Party on, party people. We’ll be inviting you to send us your election night pictures and videos.