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Drinksgiving: The booze holiday you didn’t know you observed

Binge drinking on the day before Thanksgiving has rocketed to the top of the list of drunkest days of the year.
drinksgiving, blackout wednesday
Americans will be throwing back their favorite alcoholic beverages this Drinksgiving. Photo: Getty Images

Some call it Drinksgiving, others call it Blackout Wednesday, but anti-binge drinking advocates seem to agree: It’s bad for our safety.

Considered one of the biggest drinking holidays, Drinksgiving happens on the night before Thanksgiving, when revelers return to their hometowns to kick off the holiday weekend with family and friends. This Thanksgiving Eve ritual often involves booze, and lots of it.

Sounds like good, old-fashioned festive fun, right? Wrong.

While it’s no secret that the holiday season is known for binge drinking — high-risk drinking and DUI-related injuries skyrocket by an average of 33 percent in the five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve — Blackout Wednesday leads the pack.

In some cities, Drinksgiving is the day of the year that sees the most DUIs and hospitalizations due to alcohol consumption, putting it at the top of the list with notorious drinking holidays like St. Paddy’s Day, Cinco De Mayo and New Year’s Eve. According to MADD, more people are killed during the Thanksgiving holiday than the Christmas holiday.

But it’s not all bad news, especially for the service industry.

Restaurant management platform Upserve reported a 23 percent increase in restaurant sales on Drinksgiving, mainly booze. Beer sales increased by 270 percent, liquor sales grew by 114 percent and food orders went up by 28 percent.

The pre-Thanksgiving holiday started gaining popularity around 2012, when bars and liquor stores started noticing record alcohol sales for that one day. Years later, in 2015, the unofficial holiday got its name (a few of them, actually). 

Thanksgiving Day Drinking Trends

Drinksgiving hangovers don’t seem to keep people from partaking in the sweet nectar on Turkey Day. Liquor delivery app Drizly recently conducted a survey of its customers’ drinking habits on the holidays and found that Thanksgiving Day is no slouch when it comes to booze imbibing.

Drizly found that wine is the most popular Thanksgiving drink, with 63 percent of people opting for it. Twenty percent of people reach for beer, with the remaining customers choosing mixed liquor drinks.

The survey found that most people will consume between three to five alcoholic drinks on Thanksgiving Day, with 8 percent of drinkers losing count.