While the mythology swirling around Thanksgiving may be one of happy families staying in with nothing to do but eat and be grateful, the reality of the holiday week is more of a maelstrom of special events, actual disasters, and nightmarish retail scenarios. Here now, Eater's top picks to ride out the build-up to the big day. (We'll get to Black Friday later.)
Tuesday, November 25
Country Delight at Pub & Kitchen (1946 Lombard Street)
This annual tradition — now in its sixth year — celebrates "cheap beer, barbecue, and whiskey," all set to a vintage country soundtrack. Starting at 7 p.m., look for drink specials and a menu featuring fried chicken, barbecue, and other picnic standards. Cowboy boots, gingham, and ludicrous belt buckles are welcome, but not necessary.
Wednesday, November 26
Night of the Sardine III at American Sardine Bar (1800 Federal Street)
ASB's third anniversary party starts at 5 p.m. and will involve tons of beer, sardines, specials, and prizes. So far, the tap list for the night is said to include the Bruery's Tart of Darkness, Firestone Walker Agrestic Ale, Russian River Supplication, St. Benjamin's Liaison Saison, and Troeg's Mad Elf, with more to come.
20th Anniversary Live Band Karaoke at Fergie's Pub (1214 Sansom Street)
In big-deal birthday news, Fergie's turns 20 this week — the actual anniversary is on Friday, November 28, and the big anniversary party is on Monday, December 1, but the events and the celebratory mood will go on all week. On Thanksgiving Eve, it's live-band karaoke; get details on all the events here.
Opening Night at Nacional 56 (707 Chestnut Street)
Jose Garces has added a lounge beneath his Cuban diner, Rosa Blanca, and the opening night party — promising plenty of drinks, snacks, Latin music, and dancing — is on Thanksgiving Eve. Get all the details here.
Jive Turkey Thanksgiving Dance Party at Trestle Inn (339 North 11th Street)
Thanksgiving Eve is funk night at the whiskey and go-go bar, so expect... funk, whiskey, and go-go dancers. They'll be showing Blaxploitation classic Super Fly
at 7 p.m., followed by an all-night funk dance party and Wild Turkey specials, including one free "welcome" cocktail. ($5 cover if you arrive after 10 p.m.)
'80s Throwback Party at Cantina Dos Segundos (931 North Second Street)
We suspect that a sizable portion of Cantina's usual demo doesn't really remember the '80s, but no matter: Jell-O shots, Ecto Cooler-inspired cocktails, and terrible fashion choices will bring everyone together. Thematic food and drink specials will run all day and night (they open at 11 a.m.), but the actual party kicks off at 8 p.m. and will include '80s trivia, movies, and more. Legwarmers and scrunchie-tamed crimping are strongly encouraged, and there will be prizes for the best outfits.
It's the Year 1996 at Johnny Brenda's (1201 North Frankford Avenue)
Not quite ready to time-travel all the way back to the '80s? Perhaps this party is more your speed. ($7 cover; starts at 9 p.m.)