Celebrate Grandparent's Day
Grampage: Get down with the old and shake what your Grandma gave you
Austin has become synonymous with “keeping it weird” but rarely is it associated with “keeping it old.” In a town where young people go to retire, Austinites may not really appreciate the aging population, but there is a small sect of party people who are trying to change that. Welcome to the world of Grampage.
Started in 2008 as part of Flipside, Grampage annually takes to the streets in celebration of the oft' uncelebrated Grandparent’s Day. As hordes of granny-costumed revelers head out in public in Austin, other Grampages occur simultaneously in cities throughout the U.S. and the UK. The slow moving mass of blue hairs will wind its way through the downtown streets, admonishing the youth and drinking their way into early onset senility.
Stefanie Crock and friends began Grampage with mischievous motivation. As she explains, “Old people can get away with a lot.” And get away with a lot, the Grampagers do. Past Grampages formed impromptu dancing parties at Beauty Bar, showing the affected hipsters how to shake what their grandma gave them. They've played Bingo games at Jackalope, handed out hard candy to droves of confused frat boys and danced onstage with go-go goddesses Boom-Chic-A-Boom at DJ Mel’s ultra hip Rock the Casbah.
Veteran Grampager Charles Hueter loves being a part of the doddering chaos. The Grampagers aren’t the only ones enjoying the spectacle. They are met with “shock or hilarity, then either a quick request for a picture or to help us old farts across the street,” Charles accounts.
Though on the surface one cannot help but focus on the silliness of grey hairs en masse scooting through wild 6th street, there is a deeper message to Grampage. Christina Berry, one of the repeat Grampagers reveals the heart of Grampage, “In this country, we ignore our elders. That's lame. Old people are fantastic—full of crazy stories about everything they've seen and experienced. They just want to have fun, too. So, if there is any take home message from our rampage, it's to remind people of the holiday, and to call, write and visit their grandparents!”
The faux geriatric party train starts this Saturday, September 10th at the Discow in front of Whole Foods downtown. It will amble through the downtown area and anyone who wants to join the fun is welcome to don a pantsuit, slap on a white wig and grab your nearest walker. You can follow their movements on Twitter or just search the streets; they will be moving slow and won’t be hard to miss.
Grampage is here to show this youth obsessed culture that the elderly still know how to get down. Stefanie Crock is giddy about being one of the creators and insists, “I hope I'm still Grampaging when I actually need a walker.”