The first Thanksgiving — or at least the less bloody one sans ethnic cleansing that's preferred in elementary school curriculums — involved hospitable natives sharing food and resources with struggling immigrants. Since the inaugural feast in Plymouth, the spirit of Thanksgiving has evolved and now includes such things as football, discount shopping, and relationship-ruining political debates over sweet potato pie.
But another tradition has grown strong over the last decade: the pre-Thanksgiving shitshow. The night before Turkey Day has become a notorious party holiday. All your friends from high school are in town, you (hopefully) don't have to work the next day, and chances are grandma has stolen your bed, so November 23 has become celebrated for its ability to give you an excuse to get out of the house and drink.
So here are ten of Miami's best Thanksgiving Eve parties to give you something to be grateful for.
If you've only got time for one party on this list, this should be it. Since 2003, Sweat Records boss Lolo Reskin has hosted this annual Thanksgiving Eve party celebrating all things '80s. This year, the amazing '80s soundtrack will be provided by Lolo herself as well as the ferocious DJ Hottpants inside Gramps. In the back room, DJs Ray Milian, Carlos Menendez, and Carmel Ophir will play '80s goth, industrial, and new wave. At 11 p.m., the State Of will play a live show of '80s covers. But, hands down, the best part of this party is digging through your closet and dusting off those disgustingly cheesy outfits.
2. Lit! Miami Thanksgiving Weekend Take Off. 11 p.m. Wednesday, November 23, at the Hangar, 60 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-702-3257. Tickets cost $10 to $15 via eventbrite.com.
This 18-and-over party happening at the dark, rumbling downtown venue the Hangar is marketed to the college crowd. So if you're ready for a much-needed break from studying (or if you want to relive your glory days at the U), come by and dance to music selected by a cornucopia of fist-pumping connoisseurs including DJ Xpert, DJ Gio, DJ Thunder, Osocity, Radio Jamez, and DJ Juice.
Get in the familial mood with Australian DJ duo (and actual siblings) the Stafford Brothers at E11even. There'll be no shortage of drops and big-room beats to help drum up an appetite. If you've still got some juice in the tank the next day, Thanksgiving night at E11even will feature DJ Crespo and an open bar from 11 p.m. to midnight.
4. Live in the Garden presents Magic City Hippies. 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 23, at Mina's Mediterraneo, 749 79th St., Miami; minasmiami.com; 786-391-0300. Admission is free.
If the thought of spending Thanksgiving Eve at E11even just made you cringe, perhaps this is more your speed. Miami's fast-rising indie funk trio Magic City Hippies will serenade you as you munch on hummus and stain your teeth on red wine at Prism Creative Group's Live in the Garden concert series, taking place at Mina's Mediterraneo. It'll be a pleasant few hours of chill before your family's big gravy-soaked Trump debate.
5. Eat Me. 10 p.m. Wednesday, November 23, at Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-576-5570; bardotmiami.com. Admission is free.
It's probably wise to squeeze out some of that sexual tension before you're locked in a house with blood relatives for 24 hours. This party is sure to be a sultry affair to help you do just that. Doors open at 10 p.m. and close at 5 a.m., with erotic beats provided by Mokibaby, Jeremy Ismael, Sinopoli, and some live rock 'n' roll courtesy of Viniloversus.
Atlanta rapper/trap god/allegedly sober/possibly reformed criminal Gucci Mane had to reschedule this show, and thankfully it landed right before the long holiday weekend. Is there a better way to spend the day before Thanksgiving than listening to Gucci spew out hits like "Lemonade" and "Wasted?" Probably. But not many.
7. Breakeven Booking Presents 9 p.m. Wednesday, November 23, at Churchill's, 5501 NE Second Ave.,
Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com. Admission is free.
Want to get down and dirty with some local distortion before diving into a gallon of mashed potatoes? Churchill's has you covered. A quintet of South Florida rockers will be here to entertain, including Gag, Lower Species, Flamethrower, Ladrón, and No Dice. 37 years' worth of shows like these make us pretty damn grateful for the Little Haiti dive bar.
8. The Mighty Drinksgiving Party. 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 23, at the Mighty, 2224 Coral Way, Miami; 305-570-4311; themightymiami.com. Admission is free.
The Coral Way bar of sausage slingers invites you to get weird at the Mighty's annual Drinksgiving party. The joint will be serving its regular food and drink menu with some special alcohol selections including Wild Turkey, Russell's Bourbon, and Espolon Tequila. If Aunt Lillian's recent Facebook statuses have been any indication of what's to come on Thursday, we'll take all of the above.
9. Brendan O'Hara. 10 p.m. Wednesday, November 23, at Regent Cocktail Club, 1690 Collins Ave.,
Miami Beach; 786-975-2555; galehotel.com. Admission is free.
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Located at the Gale South Beach, the cozy and delicious Regent Cocktail Club will showcase Brendan O'Hara for his 2016 farewell performance. O'Hara, a Miami-based singer/songwriter, will perform original tracks on piano, acoustic guitar, and drums while you order round after round of colorful (and strong) craft cocktails.
10. Thanksgiving Eve Celebration with DJ Irie. 3 p.m. Wednesday, November 23, at Hyde Beach at SLS South Beach, 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-455-2990; sbe.com. Tables cost $744 to $4,088 via tixr.com. For reservations, contact Hyde.SouthBeach@sbe.com.
If only DJ Irie, one of the nicest guys to ever come out of the 305, could join all of us at the table for Thanksgiving. But, alas, there is only one DJ Irie, not an army of clones. Still, there's good news. You can party with the one and only Irie this Wednesday at Hyde Beach. Drop a stack on a table or dress nice and pray you get past Hyde Beach's highly discerning door guy.