Today is councilwoman Tina-Ward Pugh's 50th birthday. To celebrate tomorrow (Feb. 26) during the monthly F.A.T. Friday Trolley Hop, Ward-Pugh is throwing a Mardi Gras-themed party on the corner of Franck and Frankfort avenues near Oscar's Hardware in Crescent Hill, one of the neighborhoods she represents as the ninth district's councilwoman. Over the phone, I tell her that I've been to some crazy Mardi Gras parties, which makes her laugh. "I'll probably be drinking the non-alcoholic hurricanes — at least for most of the night," she says.
Ward-Pugh's 40s were good to her. She turned 40 during her first term in public office. She met her life partner, too. "What I thought I was going do do on my 40th birthday was jump out of an airplane, go skydiving," she says. "But instead I just got so busy and never looked back."
Though she doesn't plan on leaping out of an aircraft any time soon, Ward-Pugh has some goals for 50. She'd like to travel out of the country, see places like South Africa and Korea. She's recently thought about helping in Haiti. Politically, she would like to see legal progress made in when it comes to civil unions and domestic partnerships. "And we need an East End bridge. Period," she says.
A live jazz band will provide the tunes for her party. There will be purple, gold and green party beads — no, I didn't ask what you have to do to earn them — and, yeah, plenty of hurricanes for the expected crowd of 100 to 150. (Though Ward-Pugh doesn't plan on drinking, that doesn't mean you can't.) "Everybody makes a big deal when you hit the next decade," Ward-Pugh says. "While I'm still seen as young at heart and energetic, I don't think my mind has wrapped around that at 50 you can still be those things. But I am excited. Hopefully with time and age comes an understanding of life."
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