Blackout Wednesday

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Thanksgiving Eve
Observed byUnited States of America
2021 date24 November 2021

Blackout Wednesday (also known as Drinksgiving) refers to binge drinking on the night before the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. Very few people work on Thanksgiving, and most college students are home with their families for the Thanksgiving holiday,[1] which means that high school friends have an opportunity to catch up at the local tavern as they converge on their hometown.[2] "Blacking out" is a slang term for unconsciousness and/or memory loss due to excessive alcohol intoxication. In some suburbs of Chicago, Blackout Wednesday can be a more popular party night than even New Year's Eve or Saint Patrick's Day.[1] In some cities, it is the worst drunk driving night of the year.[3] Police departments increase patrols checking for drunk driving in many jurisdictions including in Indiana[4] and Minnesota.[5] MADD reports that the Thanksgiving holiday produces more people killed in drunk driving crashes than the Christmas holiday.[6]

The term has a search history on Google beginning in 2014.[7] The name "Drinksgiving" dates to 2007. The concept itself is believed to have originated decades before the names.[2]


  1. ^ a b Spak, Kara (November 22, 2011). "Biggest night of the year". Sun Times. Archived from the original on December 28, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
  2. ^ a b How the night before Thanksgiving became the biggest drinking night of the year by Amelia Rayno, from the Star-Tribune of Minneapolis, Minnesota; November 22, 2017
  3. ^ Nelson, Emily (2011-11-22). "Before the Turkey, A Big Night of Drinking". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
  4. ^ JENNIE RUNEVITCH, Police to increase patrols for "Blackout Wednesday" PUBLISHED: 11/23/2016
  5. ^ Tim Harlow, On 'Blackout Wednesday' law enforcement will be looking for blitzed drivers NOVEMBER 22, 2016
  6. ^ MADD MADD’s “Tie One On For Safety” Holiday Campaign Cautions Drivers as More Highway Deaths Caused by Drunk Driving Archived 2016-11-24 at the Wayback Machine 11/13/2012
  7. ^ Blackout Wednesday: Google Trends