Jan 26 2011


photoWhen my esteemed music marketing overlords asked me to write a blog entry giving you the lowdown on the Crystal Ballroom's 97th Birthday Free-for-All, my first thought was, "Uh, sure guys, that's all fine and dandy in theory, but how could I possibly describe the ultimate awesomeness that this party entails? It will take 25 pages, and our readers have lives, ya know!"

So I figured I'd narrow it down. Give you a real feel for what this affair is, not just some fluffy words. To wit:

photoThis isn't meant as a mere party. Think of it almost as a kind of fair, only with better music, better food, and a unique atmosphere filled with stimulation for kids and parents alike. Our birthday is meant to be an event where you roam from room to room, happily surprised by new discoveries on the way. Wanna check out the Crystal's backstage, where the rock stars hang out and pick the green M&Ms out of their bowls? Join one of the property tours that will take off at 1 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. Wanna get all hopped up on java? Check out the free coffee tastings that will be going on from 2-5 p.m. in Ringlers. Like those Sidamo beans? Go on back for more! As much as you want! It's nuts all up in this piece!

photoOf course, there will be wine and ale tastings throughout the day and boatloads of kids' stuff too. What kind of kids' stuff? In addition to stiltwalkers and the famous Balloon Guy (I keep waiting for him to be featured on Portlandia), you can turn the kids on to the rock 'n' roll by exposing them to some of the kids' bands that will take the stage. Fortunately for Mom and Dad (or whatever your family looks like), the kids' bands won't grate on your nerves like a drunken Barney.

photoOf course, music is what the Crystal is all about. The cool thing about this birthday party is that we've got a long slate of our favorite Great Northwest Music Tour artists ready to take the stage and kill it all day long. You're gonna want to pace yourself, people, because Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside, The Parson Red Heads and Elizabeth Cook are but a few of the stellar artists who are already tuning up their instruments for this gig.

Last year over 4,000 people made it through the doors for this shindig. Now that's a party.

Go here for all the info -videos, bios, photos, set times and more-- on the day's lineup! Have fun! 



About the author: Jonanna Widner, McMenamins Music Marketing Assistant, is a former music editor for the Santa Fe Reporter and the Dallas Observer.
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