Philly's Thanksgiving rockin' Eve: A side dish of nightlife

The Official Thanksgiving Eve Craft Beer Garden & Turkey Crawl starts 9 p.m. Wednesday at Xfinity Live!, 1100 Pattison Ave. Tickets: $5 advance, $10 door, $30 premium open bar. Information: 215-609-1600, www.xfinitylive.com.
The Official Thanksgiving Eve Craft Beer Garden & Turkey Crawl starts 9 p.m. Wednesday at Xfinity Live!, 1100 Pattison Ave. Tickets: $5 advance, $10 door, $30 premium open bar. Information: 215-609-1600, www.xfinitylive.com.
Posted: November 23, 2013

Ask any bartender: Aside from New Year's Eve, the Night before Turkey is the busiest party night of the year.

And the post-turkey weekend gobbles like crazy, too.

Folks returning to their hometown for family Thanksgiving visits are trolling for a little fun with their erstwhile homies. Marrieds-with-kids find sitters and hit the town. College kids do what college kids will do. And there are those who just want to get lubricated before and/or after Thursday's turkey-centric blowout - some all the way until they hit the road/train/plane on Sunday.

Philly's a good town for it. Here's a list of essential goings-on from Wednesday to Saturday.

Dancing. Anyone looking to get lost in a loud, large-scale club might spend T-Day Eve at Rumor on Sansom Street, with world trance DJ master Jerome Isma-Ae, all the way from Munich, Germany. Cavernous songs such as "Speed" have made him a 21st-century tech-house king. Isma-Ae is tops in the progressive house music scene. Resident DJ Isaac Jordan, a great reason to go to Rumor in the first place, will be behind the boards.


Jerome Isma-Ae and Isaac Jordan perform at 9 p.m. on Wednesday at Rumor, 1500 Sansom St. Age 21 and over. Door charge. Advance reservations/bottle service available. Information: 215-988-0777, www.rumorphilly.com.

Hopping. The traveling hip-hop party called It's the Year 1997 brings together a hip-hop host with two of Philly's DJ royals. Reef the Lost Cauze, the host, is one of the town's great unsung rappers and lyricists, and DJs Bo Bliz and Emynd are two of this city's finest mixologists. They work it at Johnny Brenda's on Wednesday, sponsored by 215hiphop.com. These formidable talents promise a great way to party before the big meal.


It's the Year 1997, with Emynd, Bo Bliz, and Reef the Lost Cauze, Wednesday at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. Tickets: $7. Information: 215-739-9684, www.johnnybrendas.com.

Crawling. If you're looking for a quiet pre-T-Day with 3,499 other of your closest pals, Xfinity Live! is hosting the Official Craft Beer Garden & Turkey Crawl, with six parties under one roof. Calling itself Philly's "official 2013 reunion spot," the venue offers a craft beer garden, a "Turkey Crawl," and a battle of the bands. Wait . . . do you have to crawl like a turkey, or do you get turkey if you crawl?


The Official Thanksgiving Eve Craft Beer Garden & Turkey Crawl starts 9 p.m. Wednesday at Xfinity Live!, 1100 Pattison Ave. Tickets: $5 advance, $10 door, $30 premium open bar. Information: 215-609-1600, www.xfinitylive.com.

Last Waltzing. On Thanksgiving Day 1976, one of rock's rootsiest acts, the Band, called it quits with a "Last Waltz" at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom. Guests such as Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, and Neil Diamond joined in the celebration, and the shebang was filmed by Martin Scorsese for the famed 1978 rockumentary. In the spirit of that concert, a klatch of Philly's finest musicians, led by event cofounders Kevin Hanson and Andrew Lipke, will pay tribute to The Last Waltz and the Band. This "house band" of Philly's best will back up a notable crew of singers for the benefit of Parents United for Public Education, the Passyunk Square Civic Association Education Committee, Friends of Horatio B. Hackett School, and the School District of Philadelphia's Music Education Instrument Repair Program. While vocalists include Philly's best voices - Ali Wadsworth, John Francis, Eliza Jones, the always grand Maxx of Black Landlord - the night's truly special guest is the Band's own keyboardist Garth Hudson, who'll play throughout the proceedings.


The Tribute to the Last Waltz is 9 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. Tickets: $20 advance, $25 at the door, $100 VIP meet & greet. Information: 215-922-6888, www.thetroc.com.

Theatergoing. Those seeking an interactive experience and a modern-day retelling of the birth of Jesus (that's right, holiday shoppers, Christmas is right around the corner) can do no better than No Reservations, a world-premiere event penned by Josh Piven and directed by Allison Heishman. It's a comedy with a reality TV show/competition-show vibe, and more than a few wise men using their Instagrams to full effect.


"No Reservations" previews Tuesday, opens to the public Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. at the SkyBox@The Adrienne Theatre, 2030 Sansom St., 3d Floor. Tickets for preview: $19.62. Public opening: $26.87. Information: 215-567-2848, www.adriennelive.org.

Chilling. Throughout the pre-and-post Thanksgiving holiday, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation along Penn's Landing unveils Waterfront Winterfest, its new food, drink, and skate party. Celebrating 20 years of the Blue Cross RiverRink, it's a pop-up holiday village, with grounds fashioned by David Fierabend (Groundswell Design). It features a 400-person-capacity warming tent created from recycled shipping containers and surrounded by a pine tree garden and firepits. The tent also houses the Lodge, a restaurant created by Avram Hornik and Philadelphia chef George Sabatino, collaborators on Morgan's Pier and the menu at Boot & Saddle. Also at Waterfront Winterfest: light shows from the Klip Collective, an Art Star holiday market, and more Santas than you can shake a reindeer at. Public opening is Nov. 29. Bring your ice skates.


Waterfront Winterfest starts 11 a.m. Nov. 29 and runs to Jan. 5 at Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 S. Columbus Blvd. General admission free. Ice skating: admission $3, skate rental $10. Ice-skating session times and tickets at www.riverrink.com. Information: 215-925-7465 (RINK), www.waterfrontwinterfest.com.

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