COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - Wednesday is one of the biggest bar nights of the year, nicknamed "Drinksgiving" and "Blackout Wednesday" by some, as people from all over flock to bars and restaurants the night before Thanksgiving.
After a difficult two years due to the pandemic, Colorado Springs businesses are hoping to make up for some lost revenue on the big night.
"I'm hoping to just see a lot of happy faces coming in just to enjoy some drinks," said Regan Capozzella, Head Bartender and Tasting Room Manager at Brooklyn’s on Boulder St. "We'd love it to be crazy busy. But if it's not, we're also just super happy to be here. Any money that you can kind of make up to make up some ground on that lost money is appreciated."
The rush of patrons is fueled by the fact that many people don't have to work on Thanksgiving. Then add in thousands of college students back home for the holiday that plan to meet up with hometown friends, and you have a recipe for a busy night.
"One of the biggest reasons it's one of the biggest nights is people are bringing in their family to one of their favorite bars," said Capozzella. "Also, just people that are visiting out of town want to come and check some different places out as well. So a lot of the times they'll go to a few bars before Thanksgiving Day just to kind of relax and decompress before the busy day of cooking.”
While the night is often full of fun and nostalgia, Colorado State Patrol also warns to never get behind the wheel of a car after a night of drinking.
“We usually start patrolling for impaired driving just before the holiday actually hits us," said Master Trooper Gary Cutler of Colorado State Patrol. "We will have patrols out Wednesday night. We’ll have them basically from now through the rest of the weekend, looking for people that may not be driving correctly, had too much to drink. Sometimes nowadays it’s not just the alcohol, it’s also marijuana and other drugs. So we’re looking for all of those things out on the road."
The United States Department of Transportation says from 2015 to 2019, 135 drivers involved in fatal crashes on Thanksgiving Eve were alcohol-impaired, and over the entire Thanksgiving holiday period, nearly 800 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes.
“When you go out and drink and drive, you’re not looking out for the other people, how that’s going to affect their lives or how it’s going to affect your life if you end up killing somebody or hurting somebody," said Master Trooper Cutler. "It’s just not worth it out there.”