Thanksgiving is fast approaching to usher in the holiday season. That six-week stretch where we dine on rich foods, don warm, forgiving sweaters, and head back to our hometowns to see our families. Because Thanksgiving—unlike many other winter holidays—is a one-evening (or early afternoon) event, there’s plenty of time over the Thanksgiving weekend to grab a drink and cherish the long weekend. This makes Thanksgiving infamous for spotting all the friends, former-classmates, and distant relatives out at the bars if you’re from Racine. Here’s who you’ll see and where you’ll be.

There’s Thanksgiving and then there’s Friends-giving

Your High School Acquaintance

You weren’t quite friends, but you weren’t unfriendly either. This familiarity-limbo is a dance we all have to do on Thanksgiving weekend. While you’re kicking off your long weekend by catching local band Fall Hazard at The Nash on November 22, you’ll see your former high school classmate from across the room and wonder: do I say hello? Should I go in for a hug? Or can I just slip out the door? The choice is yours.

Your Neighbor

Just when you think you’ve snuck out of the neighborhood for the evening, the neighborhood finds its way to you. When you’re finished with Thanksgiving dinner and you get to McAuliffe’s on the Square for their menu of hot chocolate and coffee drinks, you may look to your right and notice that your barstool neighbor is also… your real life neighbor! Hopefully, this elicits a happy response from you both. If it’s a less than ideal situation, fear not: custom boozy hot chocolate beverages can be made to order to ease the tension.

The Friend You Didn’t Know Was in Town

Ideally, Thanksgiving doesn’t offer too many surprises. You want your food to be predictably delicious and your post-meal nap to be predictably restorative. One pleasant surprise that always seems to happen on Thanksgiving weekend, however, is finding a friend in town. Just when you’re grabbing yourself a beer at the Earthmother show at George’s Tavern on November 25, you may see the unexpected face of an old hometown pal. Buy them a drink, catch up, and enjoy the psychedelic sounds of Earthmother together.

A Distant Relative

Maybe you just came from the same Thanksgiving dinner, or maybe you celebrated with opposite sides of the family. Either way, you may find family mixed in your company at the Mixed Company show at Blue Rock on Saturday, November 25. The Kenosha-based rock band will shred away while you navigate the norms of drinking around your family. Don’t worry, we won’t tell your mom you’re here.

There you have it! Whether they’re new or old, friend or family, one thing you can be thankful for is the predictability of seeing everyone you’ve ever met at the bars on Thanksgiving. So, after you come together around the dinner table, make sure you stop and check out all the bands and Thanksgiving specials downtown, for a very different type of gathering.

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