A pub crawl (sometimes called a bar tour, bar crawl or bar-hopping) is the act of one or more people drinking in multiple pubs or bars in a single night, normally travelling by foot or public transport to each destination and occasionally by cycle.
Many European cities have public pub crawls that act as social gatherings for the local expatriate communities and tourists. These crawls focus on the social aspect of meeting new friends and being introduced to new bars in a strange city.
In the UK, pub crawls are generally unstructured and spontaneous nights-out, in which the participants arrange to meet in a particular location and decide over drinks on where to drink next. Structured routes with regular stops are rare. Most drinking sessions based around a special occasion such as a birthday or a leaving celebration will involve a pub-crawl, often with the group splitting up but agreeing on meeting at the next location. It is a common sight in UK towns to see several groups orbiting the various drinking locations with little apparent coherence or structure.
In the north of Spain, around the Basque Country, the tradition for groups of male friends crawling pubs and drinking a short glass of wine at each pub, and often singing traditional songs, is known as txikiteo or chiquiteo, and can be held at night or day. By the end of the 20th century, it was extended also to women, and when it involves a wider variety of drinks, it is more often called poteo.
Santa-theme pub crawls
The SantaCon pub crawl originated in San Francisco in 1994 and has since spread to 300 cities in 44 countries, including New York City. London, Vancouver, Belfast and Moscow. The New York SantaCon is the largest, with an estimated 30,000 people participating in 2012. Other events were much smaller and more subdued, with 30 participating in Spokane, Washington.
In New York City, where it has taken place since 1997, it as has come under widespread criticism for rowdiness by participants, with drunken behavior that has disrupted parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and led to calls for the event to be ended and for participant misbehavior to be curbed. Former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that despite "some rowdy actions by a small handful of people in the past," SantaCon was "an event that we support. It’s what makes New York New York." During the New York City SantaCon in 2012, participants "left a trail of trouble" through Hell's Kitchen, Midtown Manhattan, the East Village and Williamsburg. Residents complained revelers vomited and urinated in the street and fought with each other.
In London, the London Santa Pub Crawl has been held each December since 2004. The event sees participants dress up as Santa Claus, and visit a selection of London pubs along a pre-planned route. From just 25 participants in its first year, the event now sees more than 300 Santas take to the streets to enjoy the festivities. Participants are asked to donate to support the event's nominated charity, and more than £5,000 has been raised over the years for the British Red Cross and St Christopher's Hospice. The 2014 London Santa Pub Crawl will take place on Saturday 13 December 2014.
In Brisbane, Australia, the Christmas Pub Crawl runs each year on the first Saturday following the end of the school year in December. This event has been running annually since 1982 and is now "the world's longest running pub crawl". Santa-themed pub crawls also take place each December in the towns of Wollongong and Grafton, with proceeds donated to charity. In 2015 local police announced cancellation of the Grafton event, but was opposed by the mayor.
Other pub crawls
A pub crawl. is run annually by The Adelaide University Engineering Society (AUES). The event attracts students from all over South Australia to as many as 34 local pubs and clubs. In 2015 the event had 6000 participants while 2014 and 2013 both had 5000 participants.
The Mining and Metallurgy Association (MAMA) at the University of Queensland have been awarded the Brisbane City Council (BCC) and University of Queensland Union (UQU) Award for Social Activities of the Year due to their well known Pub Crawl
The Singapore Pub Crawl is the biggest pub crawl organiser in Asia running twice on weekends and public holidays. They also organise special themed pub crawls such at Australia Day, St' Patrick's Day, 4 July and Halloween. Famous for their collaboration with Nakd Water and supported by the local Health Promotion Board, they give out free water on the crawls to promote responsible drinking.
In Iceland, a "runtur" is a popular way of getting to know the bars and beers in the area during the celebration of Beer Day every year on March 1—many bars and nightclubs are open until 4:00 a.m.
Typically pub crawls in Ireland happen in December, with sessions typically known as the twelve pubs of Christmas common in larger towns and cities. However these festive pub crawls have created a backlash in recent years, with certain bars (particularly in Limerick and Dublin) banning twelve pubs participants due to a predilection among some groups of revellers in engaging in challenges and dares such as swapping shoes or other items of clothes, pestering regular customers, or even stealing small items such as pint glasses or toilet paper rolls.
Although Hungary has no traditional pub crawls of its own, the rather boisterous ex-pat community has introduced the idea and it has taken quite well. Now, it is traditional to see groups of expats or backpackers pub crawling through the 7th district of Budapest, the party district of the inner city. As several bars are located near each other, only short walks are needed to get around, and most of them can be seen in a night. The current pub crawls are centered around the famous ruin bars of Budapest, a kind of bar that is unique to the Hungarian capitol and a famous tourist attraction. You can find several companies and hostels running their own pub crawls through the city.
An annual St. Patrick's Day bar crawl, LepreCon, takes place in Hoboken, New Jersey. The 2016 event, held in the evening 5–6 March, degenerated into a violent brawl. Fifteen people were arrested and 35 hospitalized, including two police officers. The officers were injured when one of the participants was seeking to flee the scene. Hoboken police responded to 432 calls from service during the event and issued 54 tickets, mostly for public drinking. The 2015 event resulted in 93 summonses and 11 arrests. The 2016 LepreCont cost the City of Hoboken $110,000 in police overtime. Two hundred officers were deployed for the event. Hoboken's police chief, Ken Ferrante, said he was "disturbed by the repeated behavior that is occurring on these types of themed events," and said he "will not tolerate having any of our officers injured, for the purposes of a few to make a financial profit at the expense of our residents."
Running A Tab Pub Run takes place monthly in San Antonio, Texas, and is hosted by WeRunSanAntonio. The original Running A Tab Pub Run covered 5 miles in downtown San Antonio. The starting point was the historic Sunset Station and finished at the Blue Star Brewery and Art Complex. The event is held in conjunction with San Antonio's First Friday Art Walk. In 2009 the route was modified to accommodate the more than 500 participants every month. Running A Tab now consists of a 3-mile downtown loop and 5 bars/restaurants. A theme is selected every month and participants dress in costume in accordance with the theme. The event is free and open to the public.
In Montreal, Quebec, a new pub crawl got started during the summer of 2015. They start from a walking distance of hostels and hotels in downtown Montreal. It is a great way to discover Montreal's Nightlife. It runs yearlong on Fridays and Saturdays.
Annually in London, thousands of New Zealanders take part in the Waitangi Day pub crawl, a crawl around the Circle Line on the London Underground. Starting at Paddington they work anti-clockwise around the line, usually ending at Westminster for a haka (traditional New Zealand challenge/dance) and then many continue on to the Temple Walkabout bar. While numbers vary depending on the weather, in 2008 there were reported to be around 12,000 people involved.
In Wales, the Tonypandy–Cardiff pub crawl is an annual event differing from most pub crawls in that it uses public transport. Participants travel one stop on the train, get off, go to the nearest pub for a drink, and repeat, concluding in Cardiff. The event has seen numbers rise each consecutive year, and has achieved cult status amongst its participants. The event has since spread to Melbourne, Australia, where the Sandringham train line is used.
- King Street Run
- List of public house topics
- Organ crawl
- Pub Golf
- Rail Ale Ramble
- The World's End
- Zombie Pub Crawl
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