Booked against San Francisco's Ducal Coronation and the Imperial Sovereign Court of the State of Montana, Chicago's first Coronation had no trouble drawing a healthy crowd from across the continent (and beyond).
For those of us coming in from out of town, Friday Hospitality at Bucks Saloon kicked off the weekend, and it was definitely hospitable. Unfortunately, K and I needed to get some food and do a touch of shopping, so we were only able to put in a short appearance. The Out-of-Town show was a different matter. We (for all practical purposes) took over Annex 3 at Clark & Belmont, with the lovely Baroness II Fabiola the Great tending bar (out of face, girl ain't stupid). Monarchs from around the country (and Canada) performed signature tunes for the crowd (Emperor Martin Storm of Seattle and his inflatable sheep were darling).
Of course, what would a Coronation Friday night be without a bar tour? The show ended on time, so we had plenty of time for the tour (unlike some other Coronations I've been to). The Barony arranged some fabulous "trolley" style busses to take us around town. Stops included The Cell Block, Touché, Star Gaze... I know there were more, but that's what I remember.
Saturday Hospitality at the Majestic Hotel was a lot of fun. BTW, while the Majestic isn't as fabu as our own Hotel Majestic in San Francisco, it's pretty damned nice. The Barony put on a great fried-chicken feed and served up cocktails and beer all afternoon.
Of course, there was the coronation itself. What can I say?
Well, I'll start by saying it was at the Cubby Bear at Clark & Addison, right in the heart of Wrigleyville. Yep, catty-corner from Wrigley Field. We had the upstairs party/banquet rooms. Martin talked K and I into walking from the hotel; not a long walk, but definitely not a short one, and the complexion of the neighborhood changed drastically between Boystown and Wrigleyville.
No problems at all, though. We got there to find a reasonable number of folks dressed in theme (including Empress Raquel and Emperor Gary of Sacramento dressed as the green dancer chick and Spock), and a coronation that was ready to start on time. Show ran smoothly with only a few pauses for costume changes. Snack buffet was practically overflowing. Catering at the Cubby Bear puts on a good feed.
Coronation finished up with the last walks of Baron III Andy and Baroness III Sierra, and the crowning of Emperor I David James and Empress I Pia Mess, and then we were back to the Majestic. A few folks attempted to go out on Halstead afterwards, but the AIDS Walk was also Saturday, so the bars were even more packed than a normal Saturday night. K wanted to go out, but relaxation being the better part of valor we decided to stay for post-coronation hospitality and just walk to our room afterward. Much pizza was eaten (not Chicago Style, but simpler midwestern thin crust) and many cocktails were downed.
Victory Brunch started at noon (a relatively civilized hour, actually), back at the Cubby Bear. We didn't walk this time. Again, Cubby Bear Catering put on a good feed while we watched Andy & Sierra give out awards to those who helped over the last year. They also gave out the trophies for Best-in-Theme; Raquel got Best Female, K got Best Male, and Vancouver (Emperor Jules) and the Court of St. Catharines, Ontario tied for best group. Then David and Pia announced their titles and some special Chicago traditional titles for out-of-town folks who would be helping them. Emperor XXX Philip The Great of San Jose was named Emperor David's Imperial Godfather.
Unfortunately we had a 6:30 flight to catch home, so we didn't get to stay for the victory party/show at Bucks, but we did get to run around Halstead Street with a bunch of folks and do some last-minute shopping. Taxi ride back to Midway was slightly ugly (2 accidents enroute) but we got in with time to spare, and made it home with no troubles.