UTICA, N.Y. - 'Blackout Wednesday' is becoming an annual tradition for those awaiting a day of family, feast and possibly stress.
The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is becoming one of the biggest days of the year for drinking and partying out at bars.
This year, local bar patrons were able to use ridesharing services for 'Blackout Wednesday' festivities, a privilege only recently made available in the greater Utica region.
"I think tomorrow is a stressful day and I think you have a lot of family going on, so you want to enjoy your night and relax and cook tomorrow," Abigail Rogan, a local bartender said. "We have Uber tickets here with codes on them and taxis and cab companies. Don't drive in the snow or after you drink."
"Nobody goes anywhere tomorrow," Bill Fancheo, a participant of 'Blackout Wednesday' said. "I've got family coming in tomorrow to eat and drink."
Uber and Lyft became available in upstate New York this past summer.
While outdoor events like Saranac Thursday built a reputation of safe transport for intoxicated passengers, many ridesharing drivers say their trips usually involve errands, not alcohol.
"Most of my rides have pretty much been to the store or the mall," Lucas Warring, a local Uber driver said.
"I've been using Uber since I moved to Utica three months ago," Ricardo, an Uber passenger said. "They are great. I picked up my dog from the shelter and the Uber driver was very nice. He helped me get the dog inside the car and everything."
Still, Ricardo believes the service is a responsible and easy way for people to get home after a night of drinking.
"It doesn't matter how blacked-out you are, you can always click on your phone. I've met plenty of drunks that can still work a phone pretty well."