(MARYVILLE, Mo.) After a two-month hiatus, The Palms in Maryville has reopened its doors. The local bar shut down January 7, after a drunk driver crashed through the entrance of the bar killing Northwest Missouri State University sophomore Morgan McCoy.
For the re-opening weekend, the bar hosted a Never Forget Fest, welcoming back bar goers with live music to pay tribute, not just to McCoy, but to all former bar patrons that have passed away over the years.
“We put this event together after this incident at the bar. We were trying to find a way to memorialize this event, but not have it be something that was a dark spot for everybody," bar owner Eric Schreiber said. “The whole idea is to keep the spirit and memory of them alive, celebrate how they lived instead of centering on a bad event and having that memory.”
The Never Forget Fest also debuted the Blue Cup Initiative, a designated driver program designed to prevent accidents like the one that claimed McCoys life.
The Blue Cup Initiative founder Reid Osborn said the program provides designated drivers with free blue solo cups for soda or water to help people identify them as a safe ride home.
“Most people have red solo cups, like the song and that's the most common color. So if you offset that with a blue one, you can now look across the bar and see who is going to be the DD, or who is not drinking so you can ask for a ride home,” Osborn said.
Osborn said the Blue Cup Initiative is expected to be adopted by a majority of the bars in Maryville.
“It’s something small we can do to help everyone, including our friends. We want our friends to get home safely, just like everyone else does,” Osborn said.
Schreiber said he plans to continue partnering with the Blue Cup Initiative and hopes to make the Never Forget Fest an annual event at The Palms.