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Highbrow, lowbrow, socially conscious and sheer clean fun

Local inauguration events 

Yes we did! Now break out your dancing shoes

"Obama 7-UP Rainbow," showing at Designbox Gallery in Raleigh; see listing under Wake County, Jan. 16. See the tagged picture on Paul Friedrich's Facebook page.

Illustration by Paul Friedrich

"Obama 7-UP Rainbow," showing at Designbox Gallery in Raleigh; see listing under Wake County, Jan. 16. See the tagged picture on Paul Friedrich's Facebook page.

On Nov. 4, we poured into the streets from Durham to Harlem, from France to Kenya, in spontaneous cheers and tears to celebrate the election of Barack Obama as the 44th president of these United States of America.

This week, we have a chance to show our joy in a slightly more organized fashion.

If you are headed to Washington, D.C., with the enthusiastic throngs, wear your walking shoes and plan to go early, stay late and maneuver through the madness. But if, like most of us, you're hanging around the Triangle, our local communities offer an array of festivities to choose from—highbrow, lowbrow, socially conscious and sheer clean fun.

If you know of other inauguration-related events not listed here, add them by posting a comment.

Wake County

Friday, Jan. 16

Obama art show opening: Gallery exhibition honoring the inauguration featuring the work of local artists, 7-10 p.m. Designbox Gallery, 323 W. Martin St., Raleigh. Artists interpret their hopes, expectations and styles to reflect the new presidency. Exhibit open thru Jan. 30, 10 a.m-6p.m. weekdays. Info: 834-3552, bus489@gmail.com, www.designbox.com/gallery.html.

Barackin' the Dream: Pre-inaugural party to honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Dream Realized," 7:30 p.m. Metro Cafe and Lounge, 309 Blake St., Historic City Market, Raleigh. $2 entrance fee; in the spirit of our president-elect's call to service, please donate canned goods and other non-perishable items (cereal, dried beans, rice, etc.) to benefit Food Bank of Central & Eastern N.C. Info: 926-8796, barackobama.meetup.com/173.

Sunday, Jan. 18

"Conversation on Race": Screening and discussion of Obama's Philadelphia speech on race, 9:15-10:15 a.m. Community United Church of Christ, 814 Dixie Trail, Vaughan Fellowship Hall, Raleigh, www.communityucc.org. Info: Cynthia Ball, cball@BallMediation.com, 387-9479, cuccinfo.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Brunch with Obama: Waltye Rasulala presides over the brunch event, with inauguration to be shown on large television; to be followed by adult and youth balls; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Presented by the Old North State Medical Society at the Holiday Inn Brownstone, 1707 Hillsborough St. $10-$40. Tickets: 696-0206, theamonet@aol.com, www.onsms.org.

Town Hall Meeting: Hosted by Congressman Brad Miller's office; discuss the state of our economy, foreign policy, and what you believe should be the priorities of the 111th Congress. The town hall will run 10-11:30 a.m.; stay for the swearing-in ceremony 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Buffet BBQ lunch provided. Raleighwood Cinema Grill, 6609 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh. RSVP required: 836-1313, RSVPNC13@mail.house.gov.

Galaxy Theater Viewing: Join fellow community members to watch the inauguration at the Galaxy Theater, 770 Cary Towne Blvd., Cary. Doors open at 11 a.m.; event begins at 11:30 a.m. Donation of $3-$5 requested. Info: www.mygalaxycinema.com, 463-9989.

Orange County

Sunday, Jan.18

Orange County Inaugural Celebration: Usher in a new era in our nation's history at this community gathering and celebration featuring MLK Jr.-themed performances, music by six bands on two stages, discounts at local restaurants and a dance party at Southern Rail restaurant, 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Carrboro Century Center and local restaurants. Century Center festivities are free; $10 or a donation of canned goods buys "inaugural all-access pass" required for restaurant discounts and entry to Southern Rail. Organized by Orange County Campaign for Change. Info: Craig Perrin, 415-218-7806.

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Semi-formal Inaugural Ball: The Siena Hotel and WCHL 1360 present a semi-formal gala featuring live entertainment, food and celebratory drinks at the Siena Hotel's Il Palio restaurant, 1505 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 8-11 p.m. This benefit for the Foundation for a Sustainable Community costs $75 plus tax and gratuity, which buys two drinks, hors d'oeuvres and live entertainment by Fantasy Band; $100 per person includes all that plus dinner, a special tasting menu by Chef Adam Rose. Live broadcasts and interviews throughout the night by WCHL's DG Martin and friends. RSVP: 929-4000.

Inaugural Party: Multiple DJs with dance music (world, rock, Latin, swing, waltz, improv), plus Obama videos and telecasting of the inaugural celebrations; 4,000-square-foot dance floor, bar, fireplace, lounge. Potluck 7-8 p.m., dancing 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $10, all profits go to charity. The Big Barn, Hillsborough. Info: www.bigbarngala.com, jackhwolf@yahoo.com.

Chatham County

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Obamanos Inaugural Bash: A celebration of hope and change, with the Rhonda Robichaux Band playing jazz, blues, funk and rock, 7-10 p.m. The General Store Cafe, 39 West St., Pittsboro.

Durham County

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Durham Voter Coalition Celebration: Watch the ceremony with live entertainment and hors d'ouevres, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. $25. Durham Marriott Convention Center, 201 Foster St., Durham. Contact: Fred Foster Jr., ffosterjr@msn.com, theobamastore@inbox.com.

"Inauguration 2009: Our History Now Luncheon": Food, social commentary and spoken word performances accompany this watch-party. Four Points by Sheraton, 7807 Leonardo Drive, Durham, noon-4 p.m. $20. Sponsored by the Triangle alumni chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity and the Cary alumni chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority. Tickets available at www.ourhistorynow.com. Info: Nakiva McDowell, 744-1392, ourhistorynow@hotmail.com.

Durham for Obama Celebration: Refreshments, live music and a large screen television, 6-10 p.m. The Golden Belt, 807 E. Main St., Durham, 967-7700. Volunteers needed. RSVPs requested by Jan. 20 (my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/gptz3f). Free, but donations of canned goods are requested for the "Yes We Cans" food drive. For more info and to volunteer, contact Tammy Hayes, tammy@durhamforobama.org, www.durhamforobama.org.

Contemplative Vocal Toning for Obama: An offering in consciousness to our new leader and our reclaiming of unity, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Free. Music Explorium, 5314 Hwy. 55, Suite 107, Durham. Info: Cathy Keiler, 219-237, ckielar@nc.rr.com.

Obama Durham Inaugural Ball: Celebrate the inauguration and help Durham families in need, with dancing to DJ Michael's music, the deep-magic of Joshua Lozoff, inaugural festivities telecast on the big screen, champagne and heavy hors d'oeuvres by Rue Cler, 7-11 p.m. $45, cash bar. Rigsbee Hall, 208 Rigsbee Ave., Durham. Proceeds benefit Genesis Home of Durham, which works to end homelessness for families with children. RSVP by Jan. 16: susan@herst.net, make checks payable to "Obama Durham Inaugural Ball" PO Box 1965, Durham, 27702.

Film: Obama's Kenya: Inaugural events on two TVs all day, plus a special showing of a film about Obama's family and travels in Kenya, 8 p.m.-2 a.m. The Palace International Restaurant, 1104-A Broad St., Durham. Free appetizers, beer specials, DJ and dancing to African music. Info: 416-4922, www.thepalaceinternational.com.

Saturday, Jan. 24

"Yes We Cans" Celebration: Local activists and community members mix, mingle and support the Food Bank of Central and Eastern N.C. at a two-part post-inauguration event. The night begins at George's Garage, 737 Ninth St., Durham, 8-9:30 p.m. and moves next door to the G-Loft Lounge for a dance party, 9:30 p.m.-midnight. Free, but cash donations and nonperishable food items welcome. Info: www.ghgrestaurants.com/garage/garage.html. RSVP: yeswecans@yahoo.com, 880-9450. Co-sponsored by Durham for Obama (www.durhamforobama.org) and the Durham County Democratic Party (www.durhamdemocrats.org).

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