(Adapted from press release, Nov. 25, 2012)
Ferndale’s downtown will commemorate again the anniversary of the day in December, 1933 that Congress and President Roosevelt enacted the 21st amendment ending prohibition. The annual event this year is December 1st, and funds will be raised for the Ferndale Good Fellows. Simply show up at any of the seven venues listed below on Saturday night to meet your favorite flappers, rum runners and gangsters.
This year seven venues will decorate in the 1930’s period and offer special drink prices. Staff and patrons are encouraged to wear period costumes. The event will raise funds for Ferndale Good Fellows who offer assistance to needy families during the holiday season. Off duty police officers work with the fire department, volunteers, and other service organizations as part of Good Fellows to ensure families are warm, sheltered, fed and have gifts for the holidays. Donations will be collected through “passing the moonshine jug,” raffles, and corporate sponsorships.
During the thirteen years of prohibition, illegal liquor was in high demand, expensive and made criminals rich and powerful. Police officers and the FBI were investing much time and money fighting a losing battle. Legalizing and taxing liquor offered better control and lawful jobs. During the Depression, President Roosevelt helped solve economic problems by raising money for the federal government from alcohol taxes and tariffs.
The top level sponsor for the End of Prohibition Party is the UAW-Ford National Programs Center. Other 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, New Way 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 Ferndale 115.com.
Last year’s events raised more than $4,000 for the holiday charity efforts. In Ferndale no child goes without a Christmas. That has been the motto of the Ferndale Goodfellows since the organization first began delivering food and clothes to needy children since it began as the Suburban Goodfellows in 1923, and branched off into the Ferndale Goodfellows in 1934. Since then City employees, particularly the Fire and Police Departments, have made sure that families are looked after.