A ‘speakeasy’ in this library? What gives?

The traveling exhibit in Slover Library addresses the important and long-lasting effects of prohibition on Virginia and America. (Southside Daily/courtesy of Slover Library)
The traveling exhibit in Slover Library addresses the important and long-lasting effects of prohibition on Virginia and America. (Southside Daily/courtesy of Slover Library)

NORFOLK — In honor of Slover Library hosting a traveling exhibit on Teetotalers and Moonshiners: Prohibition in Virginia, Distilled, the library will be putting on its very own speakeasy.

The event will be May 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The traveling exhibit will be on display at Slover Library from now until June 22 and is provided by the Library of Virginia, library officials said.

The exhibit addresses the economic and social costs of Prohibition, as well as its part in the 18-year social reform movement and the legacy still seen today in the form of NASCAR, the creation of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the rise of the modern distilling industry, officials said.

Slover’s speakeasy is a free event that will include food by Cuisine and Company, samples of spirits from Tarnished Truth Distilling Company, a cash bar, live 1920s-inspired music from local band The Janks, raffle giveaways and an author talk from Matt Bondurant, writer of The Wettest County in the World.

Bondurant’s novel is inspired by his paternal grandfather and two great-uncles, focusing on the Great Franklin County Moonshine Conspiracy, a series of events and a trial related to the illegal activities of the moonshiners in Franklin County, library officials said.

Copies of the novel will be available for sale during the speakeasy.

Organizers encourage attendees to come wearing 1920s-themed outfits — ID’s will be checked at the door.

Those who are 21 and older will receive a wristband for alcohol samples and purchases.

To reserve a ticket for the event, click here.

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