Free rides home offered for Homecoming weekend

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COLUMBIA - Homecoming weekend is a big deal in Columbia with thousands flocking in for festivities, including tailgating prior to the MU football game, and potentially going to downtown bars afterwards. 

To ensure students and visitors get home safe, Missouri alcohol distribution company, Major Brands, is offering free vouchers for the ride sharing service, Lyft, at downtown bars on Friday night before homecoming. 

Through its Safe Home After Every Occasion Social Responsibility Program, Major Brands and partners Pernod Ricard and Lyft, hope to educate people to plan ahead and secure a safe ride home before going out to consume alcohol. 

"The intent is just to create a habit like you would locking your doors or turning off your lights," Major Brands sales manager Kelly Collins said. "We want you to plan ahead. So, with free rides we're offering this weekend, we hope to promote making that happen a reality."

Safe Home team members will be at several Columbia bars on Friday evening handing out Lyft vouchers. They will be at Room 38 from 4-6:30 p.m., Shiloh Bar and Grill from 6:30-8 p.m. and Fieldhouse and Willies from 9-10:30 p.m. 

Once people get the voucher, they simply have to download the Lyft app on their phones and then punch in the voucher's discount code for a free ride under the "free rides" tab. 

To date, through its Safe Home program, Major Brands and its partners have offered more than 65,000 safe rides home across Missouri, according to the company. 

"Having a wholesale license to distribute alcohol in the state of Missouri is a privilege, so as a third generation family business in Missouri for more than 80 years, we have a personal stake in helping the lives of everyone that we serve," Collins said.

Major Brands is the largest Missouri owned and operated distributor of premium wine, spirits beer and non-alcoholic beverages, according to the company. It has offices in Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Cape Girardeau.

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