17 Ways to Celebrate Inauguration Day in the Bay Area
Get a scoop of Smitten's new MVP ice cream in celebration of our country's first-ever Madam Vice President. (Courtesy of @smittenicecream)

17 Ways to Celebrate Inauguration Day in the Bay Area


With a native Bay Arean (and a woman to boot!) at the podium this week, you can bet our region is throwing a party—lots of parties—to celebrate the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Raise a glass at home with a whole host of virtual events, creative drink specials, and festive eats around the Bay Area. Cheers, America.

Order Home of Chicken and Waffles' new special, The Kamala. The Jack London Square spot, owned by Harris' cousin, is the honoring VP-Elect with a collard greens chicken lasagna, served with salad, a drink, and dessert. One dollar of every special sold benefits the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center. // Order through Monday at homeofchickenandwaffles.com.

Watch "Oakland Salutes," the Oakland Symphony's commemorative virtual Inauguration Ball. Held in honor of Oakland native Kamala Harris, the show includes performances by a variety of local artists including Oakland Symphony Chorus, Jazz Mafia, jazz vocalist Tiffany Austin, and Ashley Thopiah of Oakland Ballet Company, plus an appearance from Mayor Libby Schaaf; on demand. // Watch for free on youtube.com.

Join the Bay Area's own Tom Hanks for "Celebrating America," a 90-minute TV special that will showcase Americans' resilience and shared commitment to healing. Expect performances by Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons, and Jon Bon Jovi; Wednesday at 5:30pm. // Broadcast on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and MSNBC or stream live.

Grab a scoop or a pint of Smitten's MVP ice cream—inspired by our first Madam Vice President. Beneath the lid, featuring an illustration of Kamala Harris of course, you'll find a scrumptious malted salted vanilla ice cream with pecan pralines. A portion of MVP sales will help Five Keys Home Free provide transitional housing for criminalized survivors of domestic violence. // Pickup in Smitten shops or order online for shipping at smittenicecream.com.

Kamala reportedly likes to start her day with a cup of tea with honey and cornbread muffins. OrderLocal Food Adventures' Inauguration Breakfast Box stuffed with Everett & Jones Barbecue's corn bread, Papillon loose leaf tea, wildflower honey from Oakland Honey Company, and garam masala spice blend from Oaktown Spice Shop. The basket also includes a free coupon redeemable at Home of Chicken & Waffles. Purchase grants you access to a live inauguration watch party with trivia at 8am. Donations will be made to the PTA at Harris' own elementary school, Thousand Oaks Elementary. // Purchase ($49) on localfoodadventures.com.

Watch the Swearing-in Ceremony. While the inauguration will have very limited attendance—and be followed by a virtual parade—it will still feature Lady Gaga singing the national anthem, a musical performance at the Capitol by Jennifer Lopez, a poetry reading by Amanda Gorman, and more; Wednesday morning. // Details on bideninaugural.org

Tune in to Manny's Virtual Inauguration Watch Party. Dress in your patriotic best—and maybe even pour yourself a celebratory morning glass of Champagne—then log online for a pre-show discussion with a local political expert, live coverage and commentary of the swearing-in and inaugural address, and the chance to share the moment; Wednesday at 8:30am PST. // Register (donation-based) on welcometomannys.com.

Stroll by San Francisco City Hall to see the building's facade illuminated in red, white, and blue, Wednesday at sunset. // Details on sfgov.org

Pick up drinks at Horsefeather. In honor of Inauguration Day, the Divisadero spot is offering up two aptly named drink specials this week. Opt for the "Adios, Pendejo" with peaflower-infused Illegal mescal, rum, banana, ancho chili liqueur, curaçao, and lime; or the "Georgia on my Mind" with Maker's Mark Rc6, cinnamon, caramelized peach compote, maple, smoked salt, and lemon. While supplies last, you'll even get a "Donald eres un pendejo" T-shirt with your drink purchase. // Details on Instagram

Nosh on gumbo, one of Harris's favorite foods. Just for Inauguration Day, Oakland chef Robert Dorsey—who happened to have the same first grade teacher, Mrs. Frances Wilson, as Kamala Harris at Thousand Oaks Elementary School—is offering a special multi-course takeout dinner with crab cakes, shrimp and sausage gumbo, and banana raisin bread pudding; order for Tuesday pickup. // Details ($46 per person) on chefrobertdorsey.com

Watch the 2021 Inaugural Gospel Celebration. Through performances by gospel artists including Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, and Tasha Cobb, plus appearances by Hollywood stars Taraji P. Henson and Morris Chestnut, the two-hour virtual event hosted by Anthony Anderson of "Blackish" will celebrate an upcoming period of unity and healing; Wednesday at 5pm. // Tickets ($20) are available at the2021igc.org.

Order a copy of Ambitious Girlby Meena Harris. Harris' book, based on the true story about her mother and aunt Kamala, addresses the challenges faced by women and girls; available beginning Tuesday. // Order ($19) at indiebound.org.

Gear up for a brighter future with Inauguration Day specials courtesy of Che Fico. Dive a piping hot cheese pizza accompanied by your choice of Temescal Fluffy lager or Fort Point Sfizio, perfect for toasting to the new presidency—or opt for a cheese and cured meat board, pickup between 4 and 5:30pm PST on Wednesday. // Order in advance on exploretock.com

Have a toast to Biden and Harris with Rythmix and Fireside Lounge. The bartenders will teach you how to make "Kamala the Fierce," with Jamaican dark rum, chai syrup, orgeat, lime juice, cinnamon, and star anise or a "Go Easy on Me Kid," an ice tea inspired all-American drink with Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Coca Cola, honey syrup, and lemon juice. After, get grooving to beats courtesy of DJ SamoaBoy. Plus, test your knowledge during a round of inauguration trivia with host Sean Kealy; Wednesday at 7pm. // Register for free on rhythmix.org, purchase cocktail kits ($56) for pickup on the-fireside-lounge.square.site.

Watch When We Gather. Inspired by the unprecedented inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris, this multifaceted art project includes a three-minute film directed by Codie Elaine Oliver with choreography by María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Okwui Okpokwasili, and LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs. Knotted blue fabric serves as a symbol for connection between When We Gather performers, while circular movements represent healing, unity, and potential. Additionally, attend When We Gather: Together, an hour-long online production that includes conversations, diverse artistic interpretive performances, and interviews; Wednesday at 4pm. // Stream on whenwegather.art.

Let your hair down during Cat Club's liberating virtual dance party in celebration of the 46th President. DJ Damon will keep the music going for four hours straight; 1pm to 5pm Wednesday. // Event is free; find details on Facebook.

Sing in "The End of an Error" with an Art Boutiki Folk and Americana virtual show featuring performances by Cap, Stefan Frazier, AJ Lee, Andy Karn, and Brad Sanzenbacher; Wednesday at 8:30pm. // Register for free on gopassage.com.

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