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Carry Nation, the infamous “Bar-Room Smasher” is coming to town

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Carry Nation, the infamous “Bar-Room Smasher” is coming to town

Join the Batavia Depot Museum as they welcome Carry A. Nation to Batavia for a lively evening of marching, singing, drinking and saving innocents on Thursday, March 29.

Carry Nation was a fiery temperance crusader who would often grab a drink straight out of a man’s hand and announce to the crowd, “Anyone who thinks this is fit to drink can come outside and suck it out of the street!” at which point she proceeded to leave the tavern and pour the beer into the gutter. That was the introduction many got to Carry A. Nation when she was the scourge of tavern owners in the early 20th century. 

Well-known Chicago performer Ellie Carlson of Ellie Presents will be bringing Carry A. Nation back to modern audiences. Ellie appears as Carry during the early 1900s when she was busy traveling the US and the British Isles in support of her causes: abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and drugs; and rescue for fallen men, women, and children who were victims of addiction and the ruin it visited upon their lives. Like the original Carry A. Nation, Ellie’s Carry is welcomed into bars because, despite her best efforts, she increases business wherever she appears. In the early twentieth century, tavern owners put up signs “All Nations Welcome Except Carry.” When Carry smashes a bar today and threatens to pour the whiskey into the street and set it on fire, patrons order up!

The evening will start out with a Temperance Rally at the historic Shannon Hall at 6:00 pm in Shannon Hall, located at 14 N. Van Buren Street, complete with prohibitionist-approved refreshments. Mrs. Nation will share her message and get the crowd set to march to Pal Joey’s bar. Mrs. Nation, with her ever-ready hatchet, will show everyone how she earned the title of “Bar-Room Smasher.” She takes on all comers and argues and shames the drunkards and sympathizes with and offers to save the innocent victims of Demon Rum.

Regular admission is $25, which includes one drink ticket. A Hatchetation Bundle is also being offered, which includes regular admission benefits, plus a personalized smash-able bottle and photo opportunity with Mrs. Nation. Doors open at 6:00 pm and the Rally begins at 7:00 pm.

For more information about the Temperance Rally or to register, please call 630-879-5235.

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