Words by Kelly Rodgers, Photos by Clarissa Villondo,
To be quite honest I haven’t really been following the Olympics. There, I said it. It’s not that I’m un-patriotic or that I don’t enjoy watching sports, I honestly just haven’t gotten around to actually watching any of the games. So when my roommate proposed we go to an after-hours event at the Newseum to celebrate the Olympics, I was sold.
If you have lived in D.C. for at least a few months, or if you have visited the city a couple times, you begin to get familiar with the museum scene. Don’t get me wrong, the museums in the District are fabulous, but there are only so many of them. Among the various museums around the city, is the Newseum, the not-so hidden gem, which is by far my favorite place to visit. Also known as one of the few museums you actually have to pay to enter, the Newseum is cool because it goes through the U.S.’s history through some of the best story tellers: journalists.
On Wednesday, August 17th, the Newseum hosted Newseum Nights: Go For Gold, combining an Olympic-themed celebration with American History, music, sports, trivia, food, and best of all, booze. And by booze, I mean open bar for three hours. After the nice ladies at the door checked my I.D., I was overwhelmed by a mix of bright red/white/and blue lights, blasting music, and, wait…is that a moon bounce over there? (It wasn’t, it was an inflatable version of a classic basketball arcade game.)
The activities at night varied by floor, so my lovely photographer, Clarissa, and I made our way to the bottom floor to board one of the two glass elevators in the museum. After waiting for an abnormally large elevator to pick us up, the doors slide open, and there was a mini soccer goal inside so patrons could play a game of soccer against the elevator on their way to the sixth floor. Apparently during our trip up the elevator lost a goal to a boozy party goer. Us – 1, elevator – 0.
Along with an open bar, the Newseum was serving two signature cocktails: a caipirinha, and a watermelon flavored caipirinha, which was nearly overflowing with rum. On the first floor, the Calvin Harris song that was playing throughout the museum came to a halt when the DJ announced a trivia question. A giant screen looming over the main lobby projected a history question whose answer could be found through the museum, and to win, party goers had to tweet the answer for a shot at a prize. Could you be anymore 2016?
As the moon rose over the Capitol building, BATALA, captured every patron’s attention, regardless of what floor they were on. Not only were these lady-drummers badass, but with every bob and every shake, they seemed like they were the ones having the most fun out of everyone at this event. Which was pretty hard to do, between taking pictures in a photo booth that had a Rio backdrop, taking part in a virtual reality tour of an Olympic event, and even decorating your own wine glasses — you would really have to try to not have fun at this event.
Booze and flashing lights aside, Go for the Gold was the perfect excuse to get out of the house on a week night. Not only was it super patriotic and high-energy, but it was also a great solution for someone like me who had yet to do anything Olympics related. Partying, Olympics, and a possible history lesson, what more could you want from your Wednesday night?