FERNDALE (CBS Detroit) Looking for a reason to tip a few with friends this weekend? Here it is: A celebration of the repeal of Prohibition.
Ferndale will commemorate the anniversary of the — many would say blissful — day in December 1933 when Congress and President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted the 21st Amendment that ended Prohibition, the constitutional ban on the sale of consumption of alcohol.
The annual celebration happens Saturday, Dec. 1, in downtown Ferndale, and it’s a fundraiser for the Ferndale Good Fellows — a group of firefighters and off duty police officers who follow the motto “No Child Without A Christmas.”
Organized by Monica Mills, the Prohibition party will have volunteers dressed as favorite flappers, rum runners and gangsters visiting seven drinking and eating establishments in Ferndale soliciting donations for Good Fellows. Participating venues will have staff in full flapper gear passing a moonshine jug for Good Fellows.
Mills said the event came about when she and her husband were watching the History Channel a few years ago and they mentioned the date Prohibition ended. “I thought ‘We should have a party to celebrate that,” Mills said.
“The next thing we knew, we thought let’s make is a Good Fellows fundraiser — it fits because Ferndale’s Good Fellows have been around since 1934,” Mills said.
Last year they raised $4,300 at six venues — and they’re hoping to raise more this time around. Every penny raised will go to provide food, shelter, clothing or toys for local families and seniors in distress.
“Some of the young people when you talk to them about it you can tell either they know a family, or their own family has benefited from Good Fellows, so many of those families wouldn’t have a holiday without it,” Mills said.
For Christmas, needy families have been invited to make requests to the Ferndale Fire Department. The Police Departments checks on the household and makes sure the claim is legitimate, and then the ball gets rolling.
“The first goal is to make sure the people are warm fed, sheltered, and if there’s money left over — toys,” Mills said.
This year seven venues will decorate in the 1930’s period and offer special drink prices. Sponsors and venues include Ferndale Community Foundation, Danny’s Irish Pub, Sneakers, The Bar Down Stairs, Leonard Bros. Data Management, Hodges Subaru, Howes’s Bayou, Tony’s Sports Bar, NuWay Bar, Green Thumb Garden Center, Valentine Distilling, Minser’s Collision, Tommy’s Detroit Bar and Grill, The Livernois Lounge, Dino’s Lounge, The Metropolitan and Ferndale115.com.
For a special treat, stop by Valentine Distilling Co., 161 Vester St., where visitors are invited to check out a working still from 4-7 p.m. Saturday.