16. February 2018 - 19:30 till 23:00
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The First Ward Ball | Friday, 16. February 2018

Maybe you’ve heard rumors of the First Ward Ball—a party so spectacular, so debaucherous, that it could only thrive in turn-of-the-century Chicago, supported by gamblers, madames, and only the most crooked of Chicago’s politicians. It lasted for little more than a decade, held annually on Chicago’s south side, and the participants consumed thousands of gallons of champagne, admired bawdy songs and poetry from local artists, and brushed arms with some of the city’s most glamorous (and notorious) citizens.

But what was the party really like?

Join us this February for a historical party, the likes of which you won’t soon forget! Located steps from Chicago's former vice district in the South Loop, this one-night-only gala will feature dazzling performances by Chicago-based burlesque performers, drag queens, historical impersonators, and musicians. In between such vintage entertainment, you’ll enjoy craft cocktails, casino games, raffle prizes, and our vintage photobooth—as well one-of-a-kind presentations from Chicago's premiere vice historians, covering the history of the real First Ward Ball and its legendary, long-gone attendees.

The evening's entertainment will include performances by Matt Griffo, Pinataland, Charlie Scarlet, Sigourney Beavers, Kenzie Coulee, and more to be announced soon!

Three history lectures for the evening will be presented by some of the top authorities on the stories behind the First Ward Ball. These include “Life In The Levee” by Liz Garibay, “Before She Threw the First Stone: Radical Fashion and Gender of the First Ward Ball” by Andie Meadows and JForPayDotCom, and “You Are Where You Drink: The Chicago Saloon and American Identity” by Bill Savage .

There will also be an exclusive appearance of the Kamikaze Blaster, cocktail-robot champion of the Bay Area Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge!
  • Not much of an early bird leadway. :(
  • What is the mode of dress if you don't come dressed in costume?
  • Will the Everleighs be in attendance? It wouldn’t be a “ball” without them! 👯‍♂️
  • What is the difference between the VIP ticket and the General Admission??
  • I'm expecting a personal invite from "Hinky Dink” Kenna and “Bathhouse John” Coughlin
  • Tell us more about this...
  • I am so unbelievably sad to be out of the country during this epic event. You have ruined my vacation.