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Inauguration parties pop up across Tampa Bay

As more than 2.5 million incoming partiers mob Washington, D.C., local patriots plan to join in the fun of the inauguration of Barack Obama closer to home.

Here are some local gatherings to celebrate this historic week. All except the first one will take place Tuesday:

Kids Inauguration Party Borders book stores throughout the bay area will have a special celebration for kids starting at 2 p.m. Saturday. Art activities, games, a scavenger hunt, and an official oath ceremony will hail the chief. See for locations.

USF View Party The Marshall Center Ballroom on the University of South Florida's Tampa campus, 4202 E Fowler Ave., will open its doors at 10 a.m. for a viewing party. Some 200 commemorative buttons will be handed out, refreshments will be served and USF's Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement will have information on ways to stay involved in politics.

History in the Making This luncheon sponsored by the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum and a local firefighters union will have a big screen at the Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N in St. Petersburg. The doors open at 10 a.m. and lunch will be served. Tickets are $25 at or call (727) 892-5202.

Inauguration potluck A potluck celebration at Uniquely Original Art Gallery, 1655 16th St. S in St. Petersburg will have a wide screen TV, music and festivities starting at 10 a.m. Free.

Tampa Theatre screening The historic movie house will open its doors at 10 a.m. to let people watch on the big screen. Free. The broadcast begins at 11 a.m. Tuesday; seating is first-come, first-served at 711 N Franklin St.

Inauguration Viewing The New Port Richey Library, 5939 Main St., will set up a big screen. Free.

Drinking Liberally The South Tampa meet-up group that boasts it promotes democracy "one pint at a time," will toast Obama at Rock-N-Sports Bar and Grille, 1600 E Eighth Ave. in Ybor City. While the swearing-in will be earlier in the day, they plan to join the celebration at 7 p.m. and continue late into the night.

MoveOn party Local MoveOn members in Palm Harbor are organizing an inaugural bash to celebrate the "unbelievable groundswell of participation" during the campaign, said Dan Allen, a local MoveOn member. The party starts at 7 p.m. at Strokers Billiard & Lounge in Palm Harbor at 30901 U.S. 19 N.

Historic Inaugural Ball Dress to the nines and party like you're Oprah at the Gulfport Casino Tuesday night with live music by the Vicki Scuteri Quintet and DJ Randy. There will be dancing, hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar at the Pinellas County Democratic Party event. The party starts at 7 p.m. and the venue is at 5500 Shore Blvd. S in Gulfport. Tickets are $20 at or (727) 327-2796.


Inauguration parties pop up across Tampa Bay 01/14/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 15, 2009 3:40pm]
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