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Thursday, September 20, 2012

See Drag Queen Icons from the '20s at this Unlikely Nightlife Event

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 9:36 AM

  • James M. Keller Collection. Photography, The Society of California Pioneers.

The Society of California Pioneers might not be the first place you envision for a hot night on the town (For us, that place would be IHOP), but we'd like you to reconsider those envisionings. Starting Sept. 20, the museum, library, and cultural institution dedicated to California history -- and has been around since 1850 (!) -- is hosting after-hours access to all of its many splendors.

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Called Third Thursdays, tonight's ruckus kicks off with a bargain book sale, so you can finally purchase that hardback museum book you've been pining for. While you're there, be sure to take in the sights and sounds of the current exhibit, "Singing the Golden State," (runs until December 7) which highlights sheet music, memorabilia, and sound recordings from popular California songs -- music often served as a form of media, so expect ditties on topics as varied as floods, sporting events, and the "Hayes Valley Mazurka" that date back to the Gold Rush era.

click to enlarge We love you too, California. Beary much. - JAMES M. KELLER COLLECTION. PHOTGRAPHY, THE SOCIETY OF CALIFORNIA PIONEERS.
  • James M. Keller Collection. Photgraphy, The Society of California Pioneers.
  • We love you too, California. Beary much.

Learn the words to our (very to-the-point) state song, "I Love You, California," composed in 1913, listen to advertisements from Zee-Nut candy bars and Hopsburger beer, and sample cover art featuring Karyl Norman, aka the "Creole Fashion Plate," a drag queen from the flapper era. And since Third Thursdays isn't a rager -- "after-hours" in this case means until 7 p.m. -- that means there's still plenty of time to hit up IHOP.

Third Thursdays starts at 4 p.m. at the Society of California Pioneers, 300 Fourth St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is free.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook. Follow Anna Pulley at @annapulley.
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