The Founding Fathers held their initial meetings in a neighborhood tavern, which explains why the Declaration of Independence's first draft had a long, rambling subsection devoted to how powdered wigs are a natural icebreaker. Revolt against the tyranny of boredom with today's Groupon: for $15, you get two tickets and a registration package to the Festivus Airing of Grievances bar tour, presented by the Five Points Association from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, December 2 (up to a $30 value).
The Five Points Association's fourth annual Airing of Grievances tour celebrates the right to complain, ushering guests on a 12-bar tromp through Five Points while they record criticisms of the world at large. Commencing at the Five Points fountain, patrons preregister at 6 p.m. to acquire free T-shirts, goodie bags, tour maps, and notepads before embarking on a self-guided sipping of 12 seasonal brews. At each stop—including Pawley's Front Porch, The Thirst Parrot, and Village Idiot Pizza & Pub—participants jot down a few grumbles about the economy, their boss, or the number of s's in the word stresslessness and then submit their protestations to a live DJ for public readings. Those sustaining the most egregious personal affronts walk home with the Art Vandelay Award for Greatest Grievances.
Prior to the crawl, Five Points retailers host a shopping spree from 5 to 8 p.m., lavishing guests in wine tastings, art exhibits, and a trunk show. Free rickshaw rides during the street fair leave legs limber for the evening's main event and keg power-lifting competitions.
Five Points Association
A nonprofit organization designed to promote and improve the lively Columbia neighborhood, the Five Points Association has spearheaded many projects since the early 1980s, ranging from a large-scale streetscaping project to the construction of two fountains to yearly beautification updates. The group also organizes events to bring people to the landmark district—notably the Five After Five concert series and the city's Saint Patrick's Day festivities. Overall, the association, which comprises more than 100 members each year, works to balance the interests of the Five Points' merchants with those of residents and visitors.