Get green for St. Patty's Day pub crawl
PRESCOTT - In a tradition dating back nearly two decades, Prescott's St. Patrick's Day Pub Crawl starts in sunshine at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17, at Murphy's Restaurant, and ends at 10:30 p.m. at Matt's Saloon.
"You can pre-register at any bar that's participating, but if you don't pre-register, you can come here and get your card," said Stephanie West, a bartender and event representative at Murphy's. "The deadline to pre-register is Monday, March 14."
Most of the 13 pub crawl participants are located on Montezuma, North Cortez and Gurley streets. All are within easy walking - or crawling - distance of each other.
Pub crawlers receive an "Official Pub Card" and carry it with them to each bar or restaurant, where a representative punches the business' name. After the card is completely punched, crawlers surrender it at Matt's and get a chance to win the grand prize drawing donated by Miller Lite, which has sponsored the annual event for six years.
"The winner gets a backyard barbecue set, a cooler, umbrella, and barbecue utensils," said Jessica DeBartolo, a bartender at Matt's. "Miller puts the value at about $900. And you don't have to be present at the drawing."
The only pre-requisite to join the pub crawl is to be at least 21 years old. Good news if no one volunteers to be a designated driver: Prescott's Dial-A-Ride, 776-7433, offers free taxi service from 7 p.m. to midnight.
"I'll have five drivers working that night," said Kristi Kleckner, taxi manager. "We'll take you from bar to home or to a hotel."
Designated drivers may also get a card stamped and qualify for the drawing. Pub crawl businesses offer free soft drinks for designated drivers, West said. "The bartenders can tell who you are, so don't try to cheat!" reads the pub crawl announcement.
Although this is the sixth year that Miller Lite has sponsored the St. Pat's Day Downtown Pub Crawl, the tradition started about 20 years ago, and locals called it the "Back Alley Parade," said Bob Chestnut, bartender at Donna's Hut on West Goodwin Street.
"We started at the Lido (now Lyzzard's Lounge on North Cortez Street) and then went down to the Connie C. (now Coyote Joe's on South Montezuma Street.)
"From there, we'd go down the back alley (behind Whiskey Row) and hit all the bars from the alley. Then we'd end up back at the Lido for corned beef and cabbage. It wasn't like it is today. We just tooled around from place to place."
Back then, Chestnut explained, there also weren't any punch cards to corroborate your whereabouts or enthusiasm for quenching your thirst with some green beer.
If pub crawlers miss pre-registration by Monday, Murphy's will have a sign-up table on crawl day in front of the restaurant at 201 N. Cortez St.
Don't forget to wear green and dress kooky.