Thanksgiving night tradition serves up a sense of community

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NEW ORLEANS – Thanksgiving Day is all about spending time with family and for some, that means their chosen family.

Tracey’s Original Irish Channel Bar on Magazine is bringing comfort to those not celebrating Thanksgiving the traditional way.

“This is pretty much like the neighborhood living room,” said Ryne Hancock.

He’s from Memphis, but has lived in New Orleans the last five years. Usually, he would be celebrating at a friend’s house.

“Every year for me has been like Friendsgiving and this year has been weird,” Hancock said.

Tracey’s owner, Jeffrey Carreras has opened up the last 22 years on Thanksgiving to serve the fixings alongside customers’ favorite drinks.

“Some of the people who live in the neighborhood are from out of state and don’t have family so, we are their family,” Carreras said.

He says usually there is a bigger crowd, but he’s doing his best to follow the city’s COVID-19 guidelines.

“We’re all friends and family,” Carreras said. “There’s a comradery. We do a good bit of conversation throughout the year and Thanksgiving is always a day to give thanks and I want to give thanks to my patrons.”

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