The night before Thanksgiving has become its own celebration, a time to gather with old friends and raise a pint, before feasting with family on Thursday. It's known as Black Wednesday, when bars around Lancaster look forward to hosting impromptu high school reunions and extended family gatherings, because everyone is home for Thanksgiving.
Because most people have the day off on Thanksgiving, they get together at their favorite brewpub or bar, enjoying one or two more beers than usual, while looking forward to sleeping in on Thanksgiving. College students, who recently turned 21, come home for Thanksgiving, then grab a beer with their hometown friends. More drinkers, plus more drinks, means downtown Lancaster gets hopping on Black Wednesday.
Donal Lally, bar manager at Tellus360, said he and his fellow Irishmen compare it to Christmas Eve back home. "In Ireland, Christmas Eve is when you see old friends from sports, or people from overseas." At Tellus360, he said, "It's one of the biggest party nights of the year, great atmosphere. You see people, sitting at the bar, turn around and recognize someone they haven't seen in years."
Tellus360 will have their usual happy hour featuring $4 drafts from 5 to 7 p.m. Beginning at 8 p.m., three different bands will take the stage: Steely Jam, Hip Pocket and High Tied Sideshow. On another floor, DJ Salinger will spin nothing but vinyl beginning at 9 p.m.
American Bar and Grill is also expecting a big crowd the night before Thanksgiving for their weekly karaoke, starting at 10 p.m. Black Wednesday is especially packed, says Laura Lovely, who works at ABG, "We have to fight them off, promising them a time next week." She agrees the night has become its own event. "It gets pretty crazy."
Where to Go
American Bar and Grill - Karaoke at 10 p.m.
Annie Bailey's Irish Pub & Restaurant - Dance Party w/ DJ Stoolie, 10 p.m.
Chameleon Club - Dance Party w/ DJ Freez, 9 p.m.
McCleary's Public House - Live music w/ The Separators, 8:30 p.m.
Penn Square Grille - DJ, 10 p.m.
Spring House Brewing Co. (Hazel Street) - Live music w/ Brian Thomas, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Tellus360 - Live music w/ Steely Jam, Hip Pocket, and High Tied Sideshow, 8 p.m.; Wax on Wednesdays w/ DJ Salinger, 9 p.m.
Wacker Brewing Co. - Live music w/ Scott Palmer, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.