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Go out Friday night for Halloween, if you must. Dress up like Rocky or your favorite pun or some dude from One Direction. Just don’t get too tired: Saturday is the real party night of this weekend.

Because, Philadelphia, Saturday is “Fall Back Night,” a holiday we should celebrate because it provides a perk Christmas, Halloween, Independence Day and every other holiday will never be able to touch: It gives you an extra hour. At the bar.

We celebrate Fall Back Night because it is when Daylight Saving Time ends. At 2 early Sunday morning, we set our clocks back one hour. The bars normally close at 2. Because 2 becomes 1, the bars can stay open for an extra hour and we can drink more. Because MATH.

Ostensibly, Daylight Saving Time exists to conserve energy. America has been following it since World War II, but  Philadelphia’s own Ben Franklin has been credited with creating the modern concept of Daylight Saving Time. And yep, history tells us Franklin thought of Daylight Saving Time for its energy-conserving purposes. He figured if people had an extra hour of daylight when they were actually awake they would burn fewer candles.

Classify this as an educated guess, but I’ll say partying also had something to do with it. Ben Franklin came up with this idea during one of his European sojourns. Franklin was famous in Paris for spending late nights with any of the several women who flocked to him.


Pennsylvania has rightfully adopted this partying attitude. Our state, which otherwise boasts the stiffest drinking laws this side of prohibition, tells bars it’s OK to stay open the extra hour.

So it is written. But so shall it be done?

An informal survey of eight bars in Olde City revealed two places, Khyber Pass and Sassafras, would close at the regular hour, this holiday be damned. Lucha Cartel and National Mechanics planned to play it by ear.

Said a bartender from National Mechanics: “It depends on our patience. If everyone sucks that night, then we’re closing early.”

The Plough & The Stars (a place nobody wants to see before 1 a.m. but is never ready to leave at 2 a.m.) plans to stay open the extra hour, as do Rotten Ralph’s and Red Sky.

The outlier, in the best way possible, was Sto’s Bar.

“It’s an extra hour to party and get drunk,” said Mike Stosick, the bar’s owner. “So why not?”

Stosick was so struck by the reminder of Fall Back Night that he came up with an idea to celebrate this glorious holiday. He now plans to give free shots when time falls back from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m.

“We’ll call it a ‘turn back the clock’ shot,” he said.

So go forth people of Philadelphia who are 21 or older (or college students)…and take an extra fireball shot, chug another pumpkin-flavored beer, persuade that cute guy or gal to take down your phone number.

Ben Franklin may have once said, “Time lost is never found again,” but he didn’t live long enough to see Fall Back Night come to fruition. And on Fall Back Night you earn an extra hour, no matter how unsober you spend it.

Mark Dent is a reporter/curator at BillyPenn. He previously worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he covered the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Penn State football and the Penn State administration. His...