Park City Santa Pub Crawl returns to Main Street

Toys collected for Christian Center’s Operation Hope

The Park City Santa Pub Crawl partners with Downstairs, the Main Street club, to collect new and unwrapped toys for the Christian Center of Park City's Operation Hope program, which provides children of underprivileged families toys for the holidays. The pub crawl returns this year Dec. 4.
Courtesy of Rachel Watts

Rachel Watts hopes to see between 1,600 to 1,800 people on Main Street for the annual Park City Santa Pub Crawl.

Watts founded the pub crawl, which is set this year for Dec. 4, in 2010, and it is a toy-drive partnership with Downstairs, the Main Street club, for the Christian Center of Park City’s Operation Hope.

Operation Hope is a program that provides children of underprivileged families toys for the holidays.

Pub crawl participants become Santa, in a sense, because to join the throng, they need to drop off a new or unwrapped toy in collection bins that will be set up at Downstairs, Flanagan’s on Main and The Cabin, Watts said.

“Toys can span the gamut,” she said. “We’ve had people bring everything from skateboards and bicycles to $10 dolls from Walmart,” she said. “We just encourage people to really think about what it felt like when they were young at Christmastime when they pick out a toy.”

The event will start at 6 p.m. at Butcher’s Chop House, where people can order a meal before they start the party, Watts said.

From there, the crawl will head to Downstairs, No Name Saloon, The Cabin, The Spur Bar and Grill, and Flanagan’s on Main, she said.

“There will be live music and DJs at The Cabin, and Rage Against the Supremes will play live at The Spur,” Watts said. “Downstairs is also a favorite spot. Sometimes people just stay and party at Downstairs the whole night, and some will do the whole pub crawl and return to Downstairs to finish the event.”

The first Park City Santa Pub Crawl was just a way to celebrate the holiday season.

“It started with 10 of my friends, and we just dressed up as Santa or Mrs. Santa and hit the bars,” she said. “We started a costume contest as the pub crawl got bigger, and then after a few years decided not to continue it, because we felt it interfered with the spirit of the event.”

That’s when Watts decided to make the pub crawl a toy drive. So she approached Downstairs owner Seth Hill.

“He said Downstairs was already doing a toy drive, so we agreed to do our toy drives on the same night,” she said. “People can still dress up, but they need to bring a toy.”

Budweiser, who has sponsored the pub crawl for the past three years, will make commemorative shot glasses that will be sold for $7 at all the bars, according to Watts.

“People will be able to pay more to fill the glasses, but we will donate the $7 to the Christian Center as well,” she said.

Last year Watts had to cancel the Park City Santa Pub Crawl and turn the toy drive to a virtual format because of the coronavirus. She’s eager to see the event return to its traditional form this year.

Park City Santa Pub Crawl founder Rachel Watts is looking forward for the event to return to an in-person format this year.
Courtesy of Rachel Watts

“We only collected a fraction of toys compared to what we did in the past,” she said. “I was very sad, because it was almost like the season didn’t officially start for me last year. So I’m super stoked to bring back and in-person pub crawl this year.”

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Park City Santa Pub Crawl

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