Thanksgiving, like most holidays, comes with its share of headaches. Often there's high-stress travel involved, the worries of cooking and diet-breaking, and the barrel of anxieties that accompanies extended periods of time spent with extended groups of relatives. To take the edge off of the impending long weekend of fretting over family and football, Chicago turns out the night before for an evening marinated in booze lovingly called "Black Wednesday." Bars, clubs and parties across the city will be hosting festive Turkey-day pregames, and here are our top picks to get you tipsy.
Archie's Iowa Rockwell Tavern is celebrating "Chicago's drinkinest night of the year" with their annual Drunksgiving Eve party, featuring hot toddies, apple ciders, whiskey combos for $5 and cheap beer deals. Also: Free Utz cheeseballs, an awesome jukebox, a pool table and boardgames.
Where: 2600 W. Iowa St., Chicago
When: 8 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Turkey Testicle Festival
Tequila can make you do crazy things--but would you eat a turkey testicle? Push your limits at D.S. Tequila Company's county fair-themed party, complete with games, prizes and $12 Bud Light pitchers.
Where: 3352 N. Halsted St., Chicago
When: 6 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Alternate: Turkey testicles will also be abundant at Timothy O'Tooles.
Chances Dances presents: Cranberry Sauce
Trannika Rex, Go-Go Gothic Dancers and Slo 'Mo may not be a part of your Thanksgiving traditions yet, but maybe they should be. Kick off your holiday season with Cranberry Sauce, a queer Chicago dance party with DJs from Chances Dances, Queerer Park, CULT and more. Admission donations will benefit the Critical Fierceness Grant.
Where:The Hideout 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago
When: 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Black Wednesday at Kirkwood
Already looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner? Get a preview of your favorite flavors with Kirkwood's pumpkin pie bombs and $4 Snow Day draughts.
Where: 2934 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago
When: 5 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Wild Turkey Day at Bridge Bar
You can knock your whole Thanksgiving celebration out in one night at Bridge Bar's Wild Turkey Black Wednesday party. Dine on turkey burgers topped with cranberry sauce and wash it down with $2 Wild Turkey shots and $3 you-call-its.
Where: 315 N. LaSalle St., Chicago
When: 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
"Stranded Student" discount at Jack's
Couldn't make it to an out-of-town dinner this year? Drown your sorrows with Jack's Bar and Grill's "stranded student" discount, where they'll give you 50 percent off on your comfort food and sorrow-drowning drinks with a valid student I.D.
Where: 2856 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
When: 5 p.m. - 2 a.m. Wednesday through Friday
Black Wednesday at Porkchop
Porkchop - 941 W. Randolph St. - West Loop
November 23 : 11:30 a.m. - 2 a.m.
For the serious Black Wednesday celebrators, Porkchop is doling out $5 PBRs with a whiskey shot and $3 Crazy Train shots, served to the tunes of local punk rock band The Frantic. Hop on the crazy train and you may be able to coast your buzz through Thanksgiving dinner.
Where: 941 W. Randolph St., Chicago
When: 11:30 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Black Wednesday at Nacional 27
Thursday's guaranteed to be rife with American-style cuisine, so why not spend the night before dining on dishes from south of the border? Specials at Nacional 27 Wednesday $15 turkey taquitos with cranberry salsa, $5 red and white sangria glasses and $15 sangria pitchers.
Where: 325 W. Huron, Chicago
When: 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Black Out Black Wednesday Trolley Crawl
One of the only free bar crawls scheduled for Wednesday night starts at Lottie's Pub, with a 7:00 p.m. pickup, then heads to the Pony for an hour-long Hawks viewing party before a final stop at Fronteir from 8-10, where a patio campfire will cook free s'mores and Honey badger cocktails, including hot toddies, are $5.
Where: Lottie's Pub, 1925 W. Cortland, Chicago
When: 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Are you going to a great event we missed? Tell us about it in the comments: