Thanksgiving Eve: The Biggest Bar Night of the Year

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By Elizabeth Miller 

Families will gather for Thanksgiving tomorrow, but tonight young people returning home will gather with old friends what’s become known as the biggest drinking night of the year.  The State Highway Patrol plans to increase its presence, too.

Cleveland’s Barley House is preparing for one of its biggest nights of the year.  Staff members dress up as pilgrims and turkeys.  Customers with a canned food donation get a discount.

“Doesn’t matter what kind of place I’ve worked in," says Barley House manager Brock Reish.

"If you have nightlife, people come on the night before Thanksgiving.”

Other venues hold annual concerts or programs.  Ohio City’s Nano Brew doesn’t have a planned event, but kitchen manager Billy Crompton expects a big turnout.  “What we do for New Year’s Eve is roughly half of what we do on the night before Thanksgiving,” says Crompton.

Highway Patrol will also be out in full force.  With increased travel and the added danger of impaired drivers, Sargeant Vincent Shirey says Patrolmen will have a late night.  "We’ll shift our focus once traffic begins to decrease or die down on the interstate," says Shirey.  

"Of course, we’ll be working in those urban areas looking for the folks drinking and driving and coming into the rural areas as well.”

Last year during the Thanksgiving weekend, Ohio State Highway Patrol reported 23 deaths as the result of car crashes.  30% of those involved an alcohol-impaired motorist. 

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