Once or twice a year, three if the wind catches me right, I spend one wild night in Reno at a themed pub crawl. They are a blast. Three or four thousand people from around the country generally attend, and the themes involved are anywhere from superhero costumes to zombie makeup to vampire motif to leprechaun gear. The most wild one of all, however, is the Santa Crawl. The Santa Crawl draws 15,000 merrymaking souls, about five times as many as any other crawl. The streets are lined with Kringles and elves, reindeer and snowmen, and revelers of all ages.
This weekend will be my second annual excursion over the hill and through the snow to this particular crawl. A quick look at Facebook tells me 24 of my friends are definitely going, 10 are saying maybe, and at least a handful more haven’t responded though I know they’ll be there. We could have a record turnout. If you’re reading this, and you didn’t know about it – or are on the fence – there’s still time. Join the party.
Last year’s Santa Crawl was sheer mayhem. The good kind. I was “Super Santa,” complete with muscles and a little black mask. In my group we had (among many others!) a walking Christmas tree, one cool ZZ Claus, a stunning reindeer or two, a bevy of beautiful elves, and a guy from Vegas in nutters who joined us to be a part of the fun. My best buddy and I brought a surprise for everyone when we snuck him into the party after it appeared, for the longest time, that he wouldn’t be able to go. When Santa buys your table a round of shots, you take ‘em. When he removed the beard it was epic. Brilliantly done, Ry.
The missus and I finished the night with a sobering walk at 3-something in the morning, in awe of the sheer numbers of festive revelers still making the night their own. I have never seen so many damn santas in my life. The experience was unforgettable.
On the way home we hit white-out conditions and our three-and-a-half hour drive from Reno to Redding took about 7 hours. Chains were required but one good friend had the wrong chains. We boxed him in between three 4-wheel drive vehicles, slowed to a crawl (no pun intended), and made sure his minivan and passengers made it home safe. Cory, bring the right chains this year. 😉
About ¾ of the way home, our fearless leader stopped in the middle of the highway. Just stopped. Our concerned caravan halted in line behind him. His beautiful companion ran back to each of us, in the slippery snow, to tell us that the windshield wipers simply weren’t doing the job. He had to manually clear his view. In the mountains, in the woods, in white-out conditions, you simply cannot pull to the side of the road; you don’t know what is out there. We wiped our windshields and proceeded, no harm done. Troy led us home, all of us safe. That drive is just another memory in a weekend of memories we will share forever.
This is my 7th or 8th overall Crawl, I don’t remember exactly. I’ve never been disappointed by a one. If you like a party, you’ll like these events. If you like events like these, you’ll love the Santa Crawl. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
I mean that.
I’ll report from the road. Follow us online if you can’t make it out.
We’ll be the folks in red and green having all the fun. 🙂
Happy Holidays, my friends. I hope you have an unforgettable finish to 2016, no matter how you find your bliss.