Park City Santa Pub Crawl collects toys for the holidays
If last year was any indicator, nearly 2,000 Yuletide revelers are planning to converge on Historic Main Street on Saturday, Dec. 1, during the annual Park City Santa Pub Crawl.
The festivities will start around 5 p.m. at Butcher’s Chop House, and make its way up the street to The Cabin and Downstairs, before finishing out with Flanagan’s, No Name Saloon, The Spur and O.P. Rockwell, said event organizer Rachel Sharwell.
“It’s always great to start at Butcher’s, where people will stop and get something to eat,” Sharwell said. “The Cabin is a fun location because they’ll have a DJ.”
When the party converges on Downstairs, pub crawlers need to be prepared to donate an unwrapped toy or make a monetary donation.
“We partner with the Pete Stoughton, who oversees the Christian Center of Park City’s Operation Hope and Seth Hill, owner of Downstairs, for this toy drive,” Sharwell said. “We collected 800 toys and $4,000 last year.”
The toys are donated to the Christian Center for their Christmas toy store, and any toy that isn’t picked up there will be sent to Native American reservations in the Four Corners area, according to Sharwell.
“This is our way of giving something back to the community,” she said.
From the Downstairs stop, crawlers are free to head to the other bars in any order they want.
“We used to have a regimented schedule, but as the event has grown, we have opened things up,” she said.
O.P. Rockwell caps off the evening near the very top of the business district.
“That’s always been a fun place to wrap things up,” Sharwell said. “We’ll have a party there and I will say a few words of thanks.”
Sharwell got the idea for the pub crawl in 2006, while sitting at the now defunct Renee’s Bar and Grill, which was located in the spot adjacent to Handle.
“All of a sudden 10 Santas popped in,” she said. “I knew one of them and he told me they were part of a pub crawl they did every year.”
Sharwell joined the festivities the next year and partied with 20 people.
“The next year we didn’t do anything because the people who organized it had moved,” she said. “So I decided that I would organize the next one.”
Sharwell’s version of the Santa Pub Crawl attracted 50 people, most of whom were her friends.
“It was fun and I decided to continue to do it,” she said.
The event began to grow in 2010 when Sharwell’s friend, Hilary Reiter, a publicist, got involved.
“She helped market it and it really took off,” Sharwell said. “We ran a costume contest for three years and got some great prizes from local businesses.”
After a while, the costume contest lost its spirit due to some over-competitive crawlers, and that’s when Sharwell decided to start the toy drive.
“It was interesting because Downstairs was already doing theirs, so when Seth heard we were starting up a toy drive, he decided to do his the same time so we could work together,” Sharwell said.
While registration isn’t required, the public can RSVP and learn more about the crawl through its Facebook event page.
“We always love people letting us know that they are coming, because it gives us a heads up,” Sharwell said. “It’s really a fun time.”
The organizer also said she wants the pub crawl to be a safe one.
“We urge people to have a designated driver, and many hotels in the area are offering deals because we don’t want anyone getting behind the wheel,” she said.
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