DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – Americans now drink more on Thanksgiving Eve than any other night of the year. It also kicks off one of the most dangerous weekends of the years for drivers.
Law enforcement planned to be out in force looking for drunk drivers on the roads. While the bars and restaurants love having the big crowds, they too wanted to make sure everyone makes it home safely to continue celebrating the holiday.
With drinks flowing, patrons filled up local pubs Wednesday night. Whether it’s excitement over a long weekend, reunions with loved ones, or not wanting to entertain ahead of the big holiday, the night before turkey day is a popular one.
“We’re going to hang out and party and catch up and have a good time,” said Shawna Lange, a customer at the Barrel House in Davenport.
It’s picked up some nicknames like “Friendsgiving,” or “Drinksgiving.”
‘I think the most popular one is called “Blackout Wednesday.” But hopefully nobody gets blacked out, they just have adult fun and be safe,’ said Troy Gutknecht, owner of The Starting Line.
Businesses enjoy the boost but staff also don’t want to see anyone over-served.
“We practice all the safe alcohol service, all that stuff, and a great thing that’s brought to our community is Uber now,” said Makayla Langston, Director of Events at Barrel house.
Local Uber drivers are expecting a steady stream of customers. The ride sharing service began in the Quad Cities in summer 2015 and Thanksgiving Eve is probably one of the busiest nights.
“My goal is to make sure people get home safe. It takes people that would otherwise drink and drive off the streets and take the sensible option,” said Darren Low, an Uber driver.
Many bars and restaurants say the night before Thanksgiving has surpassed St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s eve as the biggest bar night of the year.