Last night, the president hosted a birthday-themed fundraiser in the friendly Chicago confines of the Aragon Ballroom, where he met with supporters and mingled with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Jennifer Hudson, and mayor Rahm Emanuel. Attendees paid anywhere from $50 to $35,800 for the evening and "100 heavy rollers got to stick around after the concert for a dinner with the president," reported The Chicago Sun Times. In his remarks, the president jokingly lamented hitting the half-century mark and getting a letter from the AARP saying, via The Note, "It's true that I turn 50 tomorrow, which means that by the time I wake up I’ll have an email from AARP asking me to call President Obama and tell him to protect Medicare."

After the event, the president was whisked back to the White House, where today he officially turns 50 and will hold a few private celebrations, including a dinner party with family and friends, reported The Note. Here's a few scenes from last night's fundraiser/bash, beginning with the outside of the Aragon Entertainment Center:

Birthday-hatted attendees await the president's remarks:

Saying hello to singer Jennifer Hudson and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel:

The president shakes a few hands after speaking at the Aragon Ballroom:

A bit more handshaking:

And an early Thursday morning return for the president, pictured back on the White House lawn in D.C.:

Pictures courtesy Reuters and Associated Press