Park City’s Santa Pub Crawl is a way to usher in the holiday season
November 28, 2014
Four years ago, Parkites Hilary Reiter and Rachel Sharwell founded the Santa Pub Crawl.
The idea was to offer local adults a chance to dress up in winter-themed costumes, visit bars on Main Street and usher in the holidays before the winter season sets in.
Four years later, the crawl continues and will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6. It will begin at 7 p.m. at Butcher’s Chop House and Bar, 751 Main St.
"This is our traditional starting point and we meet here because of its strategic location down at the bottom of Main Street." Reiter told The Park Record. "They have been very supportive of the group and offer food, so all the pub crawlers can fuel up with goodies that will absorb all the alcohol that is to come."
From there, the pub crawl’s schedule is as follows:
Reiter likes Downstairs, which was a first-time venue for the crawl last year.
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"It worked out beautifully for us because that venue typically gets a late-night crowd, so when the Santa Pub Crawlers show up, we just kind of take over the venue," she said. "We packed the place and it was just a blast.
"This year, Downstairs has asked us to donate new, unwrapped toys for the Christian Center of Park City’s Operation Hope," Reiter said.
Operation Hope helps 1,400 underprivileged children in Summit and Wasatch counties and 70 children on the Goshute reservation in Western Utah enjoy Christmas.
"Hopefully all the Santas in our group will give them some toys, which is something Santa is supposed to do, anyway," she said.
After Downstairs, the crawl will head to the No Name Saloon.
"No Name is the busiest venue on the pub crawl, and our group just adds to it," Reiter said. "We suggest that people carry and pay in cash, because it gets a little overwhelming to close out credit card tabs at the end of our stay there. Cash expedites the process."
Each year, Reiter and Sharwell try to add new venues to keep things interesting.
"After No Name, we will take a few steps to a new venue, Rock & Reilly’s, which is just next door," Reiter said. "This is a great new bar in town and has only been open for about a year. They will have some extra serving stations set up to accommodate our crowd."
As in the past, the Santa Pub Crawl will end at The Spur Bar & Grill.
"There will be no cover charge for anyone in costume," Reiter said. "That means people can wear a Santa hat or totally dress up as a Christmas tree or menorah and not pay to get in."
The Santa Pub Crawl is designed to be a casual event, which is fine with Reiter.
"Some join from start to finish and some join us along the way," she said. "Some start with us but leave after a couple of venues. The idea is that people can come and stay as long or as short as they want.
"I like is seeing all the different ages who join us," Reiter said. "We have everyone from their early 20s to their 70s join the pub crawl. Of course, you have to be at least 21 to join in the fun."
Another thing Reiter wants to make clear is that although this event is called the Santa Pub Crawl, it is a holiday themed event.
"It’s not just about Christmas, so if people want to wear costumes that are Kwanzaa- or Hanukkah-themed costumes, they should," she said. "If they feel like wearing winter- or Christmas-themed costumes, they should go for it, because all will be welcomed and encouraged."
Although the pub crawl will not conduct a full-fledged costume contest, Reiter hopes people will still dress up.
"In the past, people have elevated their level of creativity, and we will continue to encourage people to go all out and be very original," she said. "We’ve seen some fabulous efforts people have gone with their costumes in the past couple of years, and I have no doubt that will continue to be the case."
One of the most interesting costumes last year was an Easter Bunny.
"I thought that was quite amusing," Reiter said with a laugh. "This 6-foot 3-inch guy was dressed up in a pink bunny outfit and, I don’t know, maybe he was eager for the winter season to pass quickly."
Last year also included a group of young women dressed up as snowwomen, an array of Santa’s helpers, reindeer and other toys.
"Rachel was a toy soldier last year, and she was so cute," Reiter said.
Then there was a couple who were dressed as the Ice Capades.
"They were dressed in white and wore roller skates," Reiter said. "Yes, they were skating through snow and they kept wiping out. It was hilarious."
The Motherlode Canyon Band will add to the festivities at The Spur.
"It’s a local favorite and features former mayor Dana Williams on guitar," Reiter said.
Reiter and Sharwell hope the weather will cooperate this year.
"The past couple of years, it has snowed and I think that has been a deterrent for people who are coming from Heber and Salt Lake," she said. "If we have a snow-free, above-zero night, then we should have more than 100 people come this year."
Reiter said the Santa Pub Crawl is one of the more enjoyable events she hosts during the winter.
"I love seeing people get into the holiday spirit," she said. "It seems to me that the holidays seem to be family oriented and sometimes that can become stressful. So, the Santa Pub Crawl is an opportunity for adults to get together, let loose, meet new people and spread some holiday cheer.
"This is the fourth annual and it has grown exponentially every year, which is exciting to see," Reiter said. "It’s become a real fun night out on the town."
The annual Santa Pub Crawl will be held Saturday, Dec. 6, and will start at Butcher’s Chop House and Bar, 751 Main St. at 8 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/ParkCitySantaPubCrawl or http://www.facebook.com/events/1463262230624619/?ref=br_tf .