As local bars celebrate the holiday, police ramp up efforts

Police are ramping up their efforts as local bars celebrate Thanksgiving Eve.

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Wednesday afternoon, the owner of Magic Tree Pub and Eatery in Boardman said he believed business would skyrocket that night — on one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year.

The bar expected 600 people to walk through their doors before the night was over. It also hosted its second annual “Cranksgiving Bash,” with live music, raffles, a cigar tent and beer specials.

“This is like the official entry to the holidays, and everyone is in town, too,” owner Phil Reda said.

Reda said there would be improvements from last year’s event, based on what they’ve learned.

“We should have plenty of stock to feed all the people and provide them with great beverages as well,” he said.

Thanksgiving Eve is a busy night for bars and law enforcement. The Boardman Police Department said it ramps up efforts on Thanksgiving Eve to keep the roads safe.

“We’ve limited the amount of officers who can be off tonight, so we have more officers working. We’ve also have officers assigned to the Mahoning County OVI Task Force, which will be out tonight somewhere in Mahoning County. We have additional officers assigned just for traffic enforcement and also just OVI enforcement,” said Boardman Police Lt. Albert Kakascik.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving refer to the night as “Blackout Wednesday,” due to the troubling trend of drunk driving fatalities.

Kakascik recommended, if you are going out to celebrate the holidays, have a designated driver. And, he says, whether you are headed to the bar or headed to the mall, the holidays are not the time to forget about your defensive driving skills.

“Make sure that you have space in front of you when you stop. Be very very cautious of other drivers, especially ones who are exiting from private property and parking lots,” he said. “A lot of crashes happen that way.”

Officers will also be vigilant in enforcing seat belt laws.

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