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The Museum Celebrates the Repeal of Prohibition


The Chicago History Museum celebrates the  85th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition with 1930s inspired music, dancing, cocktails, history and more at The Last Speakeasy: On the Eve of Repeal on Thursday, December 6 from 7 to 11 p.m.

Lead sponsor Old Forester, the only bourbon continuously sold before, during and after Prohibition will be mixing up creative cocktails, offering a tasting of their range of products and hosting a bartending competition. Jackie Zykan, master taster at Old Forester, will judge the Old Forester Old Fashioned Competition at the event, where 10 finalist bartenders will make and share samples of their Old Forester Old Fashioneds with guests.

Lake Side Pride Jazz Orchestra will perform 1930s classics while professional dancers teach popular dances from the era. The event will include additional music performances from The Michael Walters Band and DJ Lunatik.

Museum historians and staff will guide guests through the history of the era. Charles Bethea, director of curatorial affairs, and Jessica Pushor, costume collection manager, will present a behind-the-scenes look at 1930s fashion from the Museum’s historic costume collection while John Russick, vice president of interpretation and education, guides guests through the Museum’s newest digital experience “Chicago 00: 1933/34 Century of Progress.”

The evening’s activities include close-up parlor magic throughout the Museum’s exhibitions and spaces, courtesy of Chicago Magic Lounge; novelty gambling tables with 1930s gaming demonstrations; a tour of a one-of-a-kind whiskey barrel bus, courtesy of The Barrel Run, and more.

Guests are encouraged to wear their finest speakeasy-inspired threads. The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum will present awards and prizes to the night’s best-dressed dandies and dolls.

Tickets are $75 general and $65 for Museum members. Premium package tickets that include open-bar are $95 general and $85 for Museum members. The event is 21 and older. Guests are asked to leave feathers, boas and firearms (including) toys at home.

The Last Speakeasy is made possible by major support from lead sponsor Old Forester, with additional support from sponsors Chicago Magic Lounge and Eli’s Cheesecake.


The Chicago History Museum, a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history, is located at 1601 N. Clark Street. The Museum has dedicated more than a century to celebrating and sharing Chicago stories through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming. The Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents and images to help audiences connect to the city and its history. The Chicago History Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. The Chicago History Museum is a 2016 winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest award given to these institutions for their community engagement and having an impact on the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories