Downtown pub crawl to benefit Christmas charity for kids

By Brandi Makuski

The first annual Christmas Crawl is scheduled for Dec. 15, a special way to benefit a local Christmas charity for kids.

The latest winter draw to the downtown square, it’s the first organized pub crawl in the downtown district involving all 13 taverns. Hosted by Downtown Stevens Point—formerly known as the Association of Downtown Businesses—the pub crawl is meant to spearhead a night of fun for a good cause.

“The purpose is to do something for the greater good,” said organizer Stacey Strupp, manager of Top Hat Bar, 1346 3rd St.

“Everyone knows we have a lot of bars; I just really wanted to bring everyone together for a good cause around the Christmas season,” Strupp said.

The crawl benefits Christmas is for Children, an annual toy drive sponsored by Muzzy Broadcasting which is now celebrating its 30th year of collecting new, unwrapped toys for Portage Co. kids in need.

“It was important that we keep it local,” Strupp added.

The group hopes to raise $3,000 for the charity, she said. So far, they’ve raised a little over $1,000.

Participants pay $15 via Crowdspire, or in person on the day of the event, and receive a special Santa hat, along with an event mug, good for one $3 cocktail at each of the participating taverns.

The cocktails are specially designed by bar owners for the event, and named after a gift in the carol “The 12 Days of Christmas”, according to Troy Hojnacki from Graffiti’s Sports Pub, 912 Main St.

Graffiti’s has been assigned “four calling birds”, and Hojnacki said he’s created a drink with three fruit-flavored moonshines, cranberry juice, and 7-Up.

“It’s old-school Christmas moonshine,” Hojnacki said.

Registration is permitted up to the start of the event. Check-in will be held at Top Hat Bar from 1-3 p.m.

Participants are encouraged to select a designated driver, use the local Lyft service, or purchase a $5 voucher through the Safe Ride Home program, available at all participating bars.