Party Crasher

25 Best Thanksgiving Weekend Parties in Phoenix

When it comes to the drinking holidays, Thanksgiving Eve ranks up there as one of the biggest. As a matter of fact, it’s widely considered to be second only to New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day because it seems any establishment that bends elbows has a party or event for the occasion.

Such will be the case on Wednesday, November 25, at pretty much every bar, tavern, and nightspot. It's because of any combination of the following reasons: There’s no work the next day, scores of friends and family have returned home for the holiday, and people need a place to celebrate with (or escape from) said friends and family.

The following roundup of parties is heavy on events taking place on Thanksgiving Eve, but it also includes a number of shindigs on T-Day itself, Black Friday, and throughout the entire weekend where you can shake a tailfeather, drink your weight in Wild Turkey, or raise a toast with kith and kin.

Groove Candy Pre-Thanksgiving Party at 100 Proof Lounge
Local hip-hop selector M2 might wind up sleeping late on T-Day, owing to the fact he’ll be up late the night before at Wasted Grain's 100 Proof Lounge staging his annual Groove Candy Pre-Thanksgiving party. M2 will drop a mix of neo-soul, hip-hop, and classics at the affair, which kicks off at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25, and will feature such bottle specials as $150 Ciroc and Moet Rose, as well as $200 Patron and Hennessey. If you need a break, be sure to check out Metalhead's set in Wasted Grain's main room during the bar's ‘Twas the Wasted Night Before Thanksgiving party. Admission is free to both.

Thanksgiving Eve Party at BS West
The proprietors of BS West promise that the Scottsdale gay bar’s Thanksgiving eve festivities on Wednesday, November 25, will help make it the biggest night of the year. It definitely will be busy, to say the least, with activity and social rites happening on its two dance floors or out on its dual patios. A VJ will spin high-energy dance music all evening and two-for-one cocktails will be available. The music starts at 9 p.m. Call 480-945-9028 for cover info.

KNIX Million Can Crusade Charity Block Party at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row & El Hefe
The neighboring Tempe bars will shut down a portion of Sixth Street during the night before Thanksgiving for the KNIX Million Can Crusade Charity Block Party. Country music artists David Nail, Cassadee Pope and Cam are scheduled to perform, and anyone 18-and-over can attend. As its name implies, donations of non-perishable food items at the event at encouraged. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the music starts at 7. General admission is $25 and VIP tickets (which include a private bar and lounge, an exclusive viewing area, and express entry) are $50.

Motown Bowling at Lucky Strike
Bowl meets soul when the DJs of the weekly Motown on Monday joint — including Tricky T, Pickster One, and Fact135 — spin remixes of R&B, funk, and disco during the night before Thanksgiving on Wednesday, November 25. The event, dubbed “Motown Bowling,” will also include $3 domestic drafts. Things get rolling at 9 p.m. and there’s no cover. 

Pre-Twerky Day Party at Urbane Manner
Much like countless others will be doing over the holiday, the weekly Bass Wednesdays affair will be taking a trip in honor of Thanksgiving. Specifically, the local EDM night is temporarily relocating to Urbane Manner in Scottsdale on Wednesday, November 25, for its Pre-Twerky Day Party, which will feature trap duo gLAdiator, bass-happy producer Subserge, and resident DJ Sam Groove. Doors are at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Thanksgiving Eve at Giligin’s
Like it or not, you’re probably going to have to deal with a few weirdo relatives while breaking bread over the holiday. If you’d like to prep yourself for the experience, considering spending the night before interacting with the typically colorful and always-entertaining regulars and staff at this off-kilter Scottsdale bar on Wednesday, November 25. Scotty Ball Game will host goldfish racing and enormous Corona bombers can be had for $4. The $2 happy hour runs from 4 to 7 p.m. and the races kick off at 9. No cover.

Aly & Fila at Monarch Theatre

The Egyptian-born duo of Aly Amr Fathalah and Fadi Wassef Naguib (a.k.a. Aly & Fila) will fill the Monarch with their uplifting style of trance music on Wednesday, November 25. Local DJs Brett Ortiz and LuJan will open the night. Doors are at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Thanksgiving Pre-Parties at Sandbar Mexican Grill
The Sandbar locations in North Phoenix and Chandler will each offer a mix of drink deals, dancing, and DJs on the evening of Wednesday, November 25. Specials include $3 pumpkin pie shots, $4 cranberry margaritas, and $5 pumpkin porter. Both open at 11 a.m. and the after-dark antics start at 8 p.m. No cover.

Thanksgiving Eve Jam at Rockbar
The members of Shawn Johnson and the Foundation will gather together with a few friends — specifically, fellow local bands Wyves, Radiofix, and The Sweet Nothings — on Wednesday, November 25, for their annual Thanksgiving Eve jam at Rockbar in Scottsdale. The music starts at 8 p.m. with a $5 cover.

RB Deep feat. Sandra Collins at Bar Smith
If there’s one hallmark to Thanksgiving – other than the mass quantities of food – it’s the chance for old friends to return home. Such will be the case when house music mixtress Sandra Collins pays a visit to the city where she cut her teeth as a DJ back in the ‘90s. Collins will be the special guest at the pre-Thanksgiving edition of RB Deep on Wednesday, November 25, which will also feature Dan Lunsford and DJ duo Turner and Heit. Doors are at 9 p.m. Admission is $10.

Thanksgivining Eve at Fat Tuesday
Enjoy such drink specials as $3 Miller Lite, $3 Fireball shots, and $3.50 Malibu cocktails during the festivities at Fat Tuesday’s on Wednesday, November 25. DJ Adrian Diaz will drop dance music from the decks starting at 9 p.m. Open at 11 a.m. No cover.

Thanksgiving Pre-Party at Cactus Jack’s
The night prior to Thanksgiving at Cactus Jack’s will be about grooves than gravy when renowned local Grateful Dead tribute act The Noodles, blues gurus Mikel Lander and Meredith Moore, and jam band extraordinaire Gelatinous Groove take the stage at the Ahwatukee bar. The music starts at 7:30 p.m. and drink specials will be available. Cover is $8.

Thanksgiving Eve Party at Degree 270
If you tuned into such MTV staples as Total Request Live during the Carson Daly era, you likely saw DJ Skribble working the wheels of steel, since the NYC native was a regular on the program (as well as such shows as The Grind and Beach House) in the late ‘90s and early aughts. And if you stop by Degree 270 at Talking Stick on Wednesday, November 25, he’ll be doing much the same as he headlines the nightclub’s pre-Thanksgiving festivities. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Wild Turkey Party at The Mint
As the name of The Mint’s Thanksgiving party on Wednesday, November 25, portends, the infamous brand of bourbon will be in abundance during the affair in the form of $5 shots. You can also score $5 Jameson as well. Doors open at 9 p.m. Call 480-947-6468 for admission info.

Pre-Thanksgiving Party at Salty Señorita
DJ Hazardous will spend the night before Thanksgiving on Wednesday, November 25, filling Salty Señorita in Peoria with funky and high-energy dance beats while celebrating with the members of the Party Time Crew. Drink specials like $2 domestics, $3 Fireball, and $4 Skyy cocktails will also be available. Go hard starting at 9 p.m. No cover.

Thanksgiving Parties at Mill Cue Club

Back-to-back parties will be offered over the T-Day holiday at this Mill Avenue bar and pool hall. Things kick off on Wednesday, November 25, with a Thanksgiving Eve affair that start with day drinking in the afternoon followed by DJ Groovetech on the ones and twos all evening long. Doors open at 2 p.m. The club will then reopen at 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 26, and offer the chance to down some drinks and shoot some stick. Drink specials both nights will include $5 Long Islands available in various flavors.

RedMonkey at Monarch Theatre
Local house music godfather Pete “SuperMix” Salaz continues his Thanksgiving night tradition of serving up a buffet of beats during the annual RedMonkey dance party on Thursday, November 26, at the Monarch. This year’s special guests include such house DJs as Joaquin "Joe" Claussell and Bekieu, as well as a live performance by Porangui. The digital artists of Gestalt Theory will provide visual wizardry in the form of projections. The party runs from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Admission is $15 before midnight, $20 thereafter.

Thanksgiving Night at Lux Central
Local DJs Sean Watson and Benni Beatnik have made a habit of spending the evening of Thanksgiving dropping an intoxicating mix of tunes at Lux for a crowd of folks eager to while away the remaining hours of the holiday dancing or just hanging out. This year will be no exception as Watson, Beatnik, and possibly a few guests will be in the mix at the coffee and craft cocktail joint on Thursday, November 26. The festivities run from 8 p.m. to midnight and there’s no cover.

Mondo Twang Eclecticana at Valley Bar
The cornucopia of music that DJ Shane Kennedy will serve up in the Rose Room at Valley Bar on Thanksgiving night could best be described as extensive, considering it could possibly include everything from cocktail exotica and southern soul to early New Orleans funk, jazz noir, vintage R&B, and plenty of obscura. He’ll start pulling stuff out of his bag of tricks at 9 p.m. No cover.

Tempe Art A Gogh-Gogh at Yucca Tap Room & 51 West
Similar to other shopping centers throughout the Valley sprawl, Danelle Plaza in Tempe is going to be populated with a slew of people on Friday, November 27, during Black Friday. Their M.O. for being there, however, won’t be to duke it out for deals, but rather to partake in a multitude of music and culture being offered during the latest edition of Tempe Art A Gogh-Gogh. Selectors and bands will perform at most of the spots and shops at the plaza during the event, including DJ SupaVaiza spinning at Double Nickels and DJ ChoiceOne doing his thing at Sky High. The two biggest lineups will be offered at 51 West (where Andy Warpigs, Cultures, and Sad Boy Trumpet Club will perform) and Yucca Tap Room (featuring Snailmate, Jaguarsun, and Wash, as well as DJs KNS Bigandbad and Hanzerelli). The fun gets Gogh-Goghing at 8 p.m. and pretty much everything will be free, save for the $5 cover at 51 West.

Black Friday Party at Maya Day & Nightclub
DJ Soloman will spin up high-energy dance music while Maya's various bars will serve penny drinks until midnight at this affair on Friday, November 27. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Solstice Saturday at Monarch Theatre

Iconic house music producer DJ Sneak put EDM selectors on blast recently when he declared in an interview earlier this month “if you’ve never touched a piece of vinyl in your life, you're not a DJ.” Ouch. We’re betting that Sneak won’t have any beefs with the lineup of local legends (including DJ Senbad, and World Famous Rani G.) opening for him when he headlines a special edition of long-running Valley house night Solstice on Saturday, November 28, at the Monarch, since all have handled plenty of wax in their day. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. 
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.