"Black Wednesday" a night for Safety Ambassadors to protect residents

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Black Friday may get the hype, but Black Wednesday - as it's called -- kicks the holiday off for those who like to party.

John Mayer helped kicked off the party in downtown Grand Rapids. "Specifically tonight, it's a big night for people being out drinking and being out in the bar," said Mel Eledge, with the Grand Rapids Safety Ambassadors. His crew will be monitoring the downtown streets until 3 am."Walking patrons to their cars, and employees," he said.

They'll be doing so during the biggest bar night of the year, which happens to fall on the coldest Thanksgiving Eve since 2005. "People drink a lot of alcohol and it gives them the feeling of warmth but it doesn't really make them warm, so if we find someone passed out on the street, we're going to make sure they're ok and get them help," he said.

The five ambassadors are focusing on a six block stretch of bars, moston Ionia. "I live right down the street right there. So that makes me feel more safe knowing there's going to be people out while everyone's out on the street," said Joy Hoek.

Eledge expects thousands of people Wednesday night, smaller than Halloween on Ionia. He says that event proved they could help the city. Now the ambassadors have another crowd of drinkers to keep safe. "It's definitely good to have a sober set of eyes out there," said Nora Ramos.


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