Bringing Out the Big Guns: Unique Election-Night Celebrations

It's election night, and if all those debate night drinking games were any indication, the end of one of the most torturous campaign cycles is as much of an excuse for imbibing as it is a celebration of democracy.

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REUTERS/Jason Reed

It’s election night, and if all those debate-night drinking games were any indication, the end of one of the most torturous campaign cycles is as much an excuse for imbibing as it is a celebration of democracy. The official campaigns are doing it big, with one eye on revelry and the other on the outcome. President Obama is hosting an election-night rally at Chicago‘s McCormick Place convention center, while Republican nominee Mitt Romney is holing up in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. What could be better than spending the sole night dedicated to the free world languishing in a stifling, faceless auditorium?

As it turns out, a lot of people like that idea. But for every individual holding a ticket to a superlegit election-night fiesta, there are plenty of others thinking outside the conventional box. Here are some of the most fun, freaky and/or fabulous election-night diversions.

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It’s an event that future generations may someday know as “Worst. Idea. Ever.” Alabama‘s Republican Party plans to hold its election-night festivities at a local gun range. Participants will get to unload some rounds as returns come in — though we fear the event could turn less festive if said returns don’t go their way. The organizers have accounted for the potential bullets-vs.-debauchery issue by banning alcohol while attendees handle firearms. One famous face scheduled to attend: this year’s Miss Alabama. All righty, then.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, blue-state herbivores can celebrate natural foods in a time when nature really needs some TLC. SuperVegan, a New York City–based vegan blog, is throwing an vegan election-night gathering, featuring several DJs and a smorgasbord of meatless goodies. According to SuperVegan’s website, the event is training its eye on an election that may “move this country closer to a political climate which is more ethically enlightened in regard to non-human animals.” Though the event is open to all, it unsubtly is very open to Obama supporters.

It’s no secret that this election season has been fraught with gaffes, flip-flopping, name-calling and Muppet activism, enough to give even the most lukewarm politico a headache and a misaligned spine. That is, of course, the only feasible reason San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is reprising its spa-themed election-night event. Revelers can get a massage, manicure and/or pedicure while watching returns. Local artists will perform with the San Francisco Rock Project and Destiny Arts Center during the evening.

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A dinner cruise sounds like a classy way to celebrate anything, but election night demands a bit more gusto.The U.S.S. Potomac, which sails around San Francisco Bay, will set sail this evening for a swank-sounding Presidential Election Night Party Cruise. Flat-screen TVs showing the election returns are among the vessel’s modern accoutrements, but its appeal stretches back decades: the cruise is Franklin Delano Roosevelt–approved. The U.S.S. Potomac belonged to FDR himself, and the event will include a boat volunteer with an uncanny resemblance to the 32nd President.

If nothing else, election night can just as easily pose as an excuse to do something more fun than watching news channels somewhat accurately predict what will be known fact in a matter of hours. For that reason, there abound numerous concerts and comedy shows in cities across the country. Laughter is the best medicine, and after a vitriolic campaign season, this country could really use a humorous panacea.

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