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How I Got Uncorked with Heinz History Center

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Senator John Heinz History Center in Association with the Smithsonian Institution hosted its yearly annual event for young professionals.  This year’s theme was inspired by the museum’s newest exhibition ‘American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition’ and as I arrived at the event you could hear the live entertainment provided by The Boilermaker Jazz Band.

The place was packed and you really would have thought it was the 1920s from all the flappers and mobster attire, except everyone had a cell phone in their hand to document the great time they were having! Some of the 1st-floor accommodations included a bar, restaurant samples, and a bow-tie tutorial. Making my way through the crowd of people I was greeted by four actors that aligned with each exhibit, who gave clues for me to use in the ‘escape room’.

The first one was a woman suffragist, the second was a flapper, the third was a temperance worker, and the fourth was a bootlegger. They all did an excellent job staying in character, as they each gave me a card with a mobster on it, and each legend was missing a letter from their name, when you collect all 4 it spells ‘YELP’, which was the password to get into the escape-room. I couldn’t figure out what that word had to do with gangsters, then I was informed, “The password ‘Yelp’ was in reference to Yelp Pittsburgh which sponsored the pop-up escape room in partnership with Enter the Imaginarium and Arcade Comedy Theater.

Never a dull moment, all six floors of the museum had something going on. Sadly, I didn’t get to make it to the 6th floor which featured the VIP reception and the 3rd which held the Pop-Up Escape Room. By the time I went to the 4th floor to do the photo-booth it was being dismantled.

Either way, I was still having a blast on the 5th floor with the silent auction which title alone contradicted itself because it was anything but silent as Tall Cathy from I Heart Radio Kiss FM & DJ Mad Maxx provided all the current and old-school jams to boogie on the dance-floor. I even ran into and saw Heather Abraham from KDKA as I was trying to maneuver my way through the crowd.

Don’t worry if you weren’t old enough to attend the party or just couldn’t make the event you can still visit the History Center at its normal business hours because the American Spirit exhibit on the 1st floor is here until June 10th.  It’s a traveling exhibit from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and the rest of the exhibits, for the most part, are there long term.

Discover 250 years of Pittsburgh history at the Heinz History Center, Pennsylvania’s largest history museum & an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

Christina Jeter

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