If you've heard of Midwest Geobash, no doubt you've heard about Area 51.
Area 51 started in 2006 at the Midwest Geobash in Davidburg, Michigan.
Area 51 was originally billed and envisioned as "the social area for adults". It has evolved over time to be the after-hours social area for all of Midwest Geobash.
Virtually all geocaching mega events will focus on something: be it caching contests, coin trading, etc. The Midwest Geobash is no different, but the focus here is on socializing with other geocachers. And this can be done in MANY ways, like piling in cars to participate in a city wide poker run, walking around the Midwest Geobash grounds with groups of people finding all the geocaches, taking road trips with people you may have never met before to find geocaches in the neighboring states or just sitting around your campsite and getting to know your neighbors. Area 51 is the culmination of this socializing aspect as we end every night of the Midwest Geobash by sitting around the bonfires, sharing drinks, sharing stories and just socializing.
Around 7pm, many people begin to gather at Area 51. From 7-10pm the Area 51 Crew encourages everyone to keep their participation at a "PG" level so families can gather and enjoy some social time.
Did you know there is always a fire burning at Area 51 East? It is kept burning to provide a convinient cooking fire for time-strapped volunteers. It is open to the public first-come, first-served and you will often find attendees (particularly children) cooking a hot dog or roasting a marshmallow over the fire!
Area 51 officially starts at 10pm. You've been watching presentations, participating in a poker run, finding lots of geocaches and meeting new people all day in the summer midwest heat. By the time 9:30pm rolls around, you are pretty tired but the best part is about to start! So this is the time to pack up a lawn chair and your favorite bonfire beverage and head over to Area 51. At 10pm, we have a lighting ceremony to officially open Area 51. What is this ceremony? Well, you just have to come out and experience it for yourself!
So now the fires are going and you are comfortable in your chair, so what's next? Well, you brought your favorite beverage and you are among a couple hundred people, so start mingling. Share stories, share brew, search out the Groundspeak Lackeys (there is usually at least one at Area 51), thank some volunteers, play 4x4 Jenga, or try a game at a shot bar.
Please remember - Midwest Geobash is open to anyone but it is a private event and your attendance is governed by our Event Policies. Area 51 is a social activity. After 10pm, adults over 21 are welcome (although obviously not required) to enjoy alcoholic beverages. We expect everyone to enjoy Area 51 responsibly. If your behavior is not conducive to a safe and friendly atmosphere, we will engage the authorities to escort you from the area or possibly the event grounds. If you over-enjoy yourself and need assistance please contact one of the Area 51 crew for assistance in finding overnight accommodations or safe transportation. Most hotels and all camping are within walking distance. Nearly all people respect our event policies, but in an event the size of MWGB you can't guarantee that every participant will respect the rules or their own personal limitations.
Everyone is welcome at Area 51, no invitation is needed. Children are also welcome, although after 10pm may witness consumption of alcohol and other less "PG" behavior. At 10pm, we advise that children are welcome to stay at their parent's discretion. We expect every person under 18 years old to be accompanied by a responsible adult at Area 51. If you are a parent, you must use your personal judgement to determine if the post-10pm environment is suitable for your child.
We have locations running each night where guest of Midwest Geobash may request a free drink. You must be 21 to enter these areas. We confirm proof of age. If you are under 21 and found in one of these areas or in possession of alcohol you will be asked to leave the venue.