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Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010 04:22 pm

Thanksgiving Eve arrives

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Several years ago here at Now Playing world headquarters we broke the story on Thanksgiving Eve being the biggest party night of the year in the bar and club scene. From reliable on location research admirably performed by this reporter it seemed lots of folks figured out the Night Before Thanksgiving was the best opportunity to get snookered with the least of consequences. Always a given party night to those in the know, by the early 2000s New York City and San Francisco were in full swing advertising entertainments galore for a pre-turkey ingestion celebration. As things tend to do in our nation, trends originate on the coasts then move inland to be practiced by hardy and practical Midwesterners who transform them into traditions once passing the test of worthiness.

By all accounts Thanksgiving Eve is here to stay as the party night of the year. And why not, you’ve got all the ingredients available to render a night on the town as painless as possible without the rather staid and solid holiday attachments driving other celebrations. Some say New Year’s Eve is now for the amateur partiers and more and more folks are celebrating the coming of the new year in ways other than accepted and encouraged shameless debauchery. Our other most famous instance of promoted public decadence is of course St. Patrick’s Day, but for hard drinking purposes falls on whatever day of the week the 17th occurs thereby not allowing for that all important automatic next-day-off for recovery purposes.

And that next day holiday containing no organized schedule of events and established by an act of Congress (hey, that’s not in the Constitution boys, let’s can it!) is the one big reason why Thanksgiving Eve rose to national prominence as a night to party on. Often modern workers wrangle Friday off as well, smartly creating a four-day weekend inaugurated with a bash. Hence the comfortably designed party on Wednesday night became the biggest shindig of the year with the only hindsight observance seeming to be, what took so long? With Springfield always a few years behind the civilized world on many subjects (including the aldermanic form of municipal government, sidewalk café dining, historic preservation and admitting racial issues, but nice job on the socialistic-style, public-owned power company), we are now in full swing, wildly celebrating our national day of thanksgiving with a blowout blast the night before.

All the major live music venues have something planned, as do many of the wee ones as well, mostly rocking bands instead of the usual open mics, acoustic acts and such featured normally on midweek nights. Karaoke singing, always a popular attraction in the capital city, gets a special boost on Thanksgiving Eve, when your average hump day showings of humans singing with a machine are elevated by the increased pre-holiday attendance. I don’t know if there are standard songs at karaoke nights featured for the Thanksgiving Day event or not, but the songwriter in me just got a marketing twitch.

There are songs for every occasion, songs for the alien invasion, songs for funerals and weddings, ones for courting and for beddings, etc. Musical compositions exist for nearly every possible event from Happy Birthday to Happy Hanukkah, Groundhog Day to Grandparents Day, Flag Day to May Day and with the onslaught of holiday jingles already beginning for the upcoming season to be jolly I’m stuck with a query and a quandary. Why aren’t more songs written about Thanksgiving and what could they be about?

Well now I have something to ponder while ingesting and digesting this Thursday. And I’ll always think of my gone-but-not-forgotten buddy Raoul on Thanksgiving as his main concession to the celebration pertained to partaking of the 101 proof Wild Turkey Kentucky Bourbon whiskey for a liquid feast.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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