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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Celebrate the New Year prohibition-style with Hotel Congress

    Jesus Barrera
    The neon sign of Hotel Congress stands as a beacon, a lighthouse of sorts, for downtown Tucson, signaling wayward partiers to come into its warmth. Hotel Congress will host a New Year’s Eve celebration that revolves around the 1920s Prohibition.

    Hotel Congress is giving Tucsonans a great New Year’s Eve to look forward to with their New Year’s Eve Bash. 

    This year’s event is a 1920s Prohibition theme with a toast, themed rooms, live music and more. The New Year’s celebration begins at 8 p.m. on Dec. 31.

    “It’s sort of our featured event of the year,” said David Slutes, entertainment and booking director for Hotel Congress. “We consider ourselves sort of Tucson’s New Year’s destination because, up until last year, we had this thing called ‘Tucson Times Square’ where we’d open up the street and have big events, so we’re used to doing big, big New Year’s Eves here.”

    According to the Hotel Congress website, this 21-and-up event includes “a Whiskey del Bac whiskey toast, complimentary party favors for the midnight merriment, use of the free photo booth and access to the Opium Den which houses our Absinthe Bar.” 

    The night will also include a hookah lounge, a VIP room, special hotel room packages and live music.

    “One thing we’re doing is we’re almost making every room its own little club within a club,” Slutes said. “There will be live music here, DJ there, the burlesque in this room, the VIP room, so you can kind of move around and do all sorts of different things and have your own experience here. Even though it’s all under one roof, they all have their own theme in each room.”

    Slated to perform are Kings of Pleasure, Tom Walbank, Shadow Dancers, Vintage Burlesque by Contessa Oblivian, Prohibition Disco with Andrew Shuta, Bob Felix and Dan Hernandez and period music from chanteuse Catherine Byrne and pianist Jeff Haskell.

    Hotel Congress plans to call back to the history of the hotel by ringing in the New Year speakeasy style. 

    The theme is meant to evoke the 1920s with an old-style juke joint, the opium den room, burlesque and whiskey barrels.

    “That’s the 20s: The era of Prohibition when people weren’t actually allowed to drink but always snuck drinks. So we’re going to pretend that’s happening here,” said Slutes. “In fact, at midnight we’re breaking open a gigantic barrel, like Prohibition ends that night. The whole night had been sneaky drinking until midnight, then you get to have your free shot of whiskey at midnight.”

    In addition to themed rooms and live music, a spot in the VIP room in the historic Copper Hall will also be an option for guests to purchase for $100. According to Slutes, the VIP room pass includes an open bar with food and drinks flowing. 

    The VIP room is limited to 100 people and is private, for those people who want to get away from the crowds.

    General admission tickets to the event can be purchased for $25 online, at the hotel lobby front desk or at the door, if they’re still available.

    They plan on selling out with the event being limited to 1,000 people this year.

    Follow Emma Jackson on Twitter.

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